Fortune's Children

Fortune's Children : Fall of the Vanderbilt Family

3.89 (2,323 ratings by Goodreads)
  • Paperback

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Cornelius Vanderbilt - "The Commodore" - was born in 1794. At the age 16 he borrowed $100 from his mother to buy a boat and began a ferry service to Manhattan. By the time of his death in 1877 he had built a far-flung steamship and railroad empire and accumulated an estate worth over $100 million. The bulk of his money went to his son, William, who duly mimicked his father's business strategies and doubled the fortune. William's son Willie married the restless Alva Smith, who constructed a string of multimillion dollar mansions and threw a $250,000 costume ball that got the Vanderbilts into New York society. Willie's brother Cornelius married unhappily and thereafter most of the family bought and grew tired of extravagant yachts, Rolls-Royces and racehorses, and blithely partied away their vast fortune. This is the story of a dynasty which fought, feuded, bought and bulldozed its way to the height of the "gilded age", and then vanished with it.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 496 pages
  • 129.54 x 210.82 x 33.02mm | 453.59g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • 8pp b&w illustrations
  • 0747406200
  • 9780747406204

Rating details

2,323 ratings
3.89 out of 5 stars
5 26% (611)
4 44% (1,015)
3 24% (560)
2 5% (117)
1 1% (20)
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