Great Fortune

Great Fortune : The Epic of Rockefeller Center

3.95 (217 ratings by Goodreads)
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In this hugely appealing book, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, acclaimed author and journalist Daniel Okrent weaves together themes of money, politics, art, architecture, business, and society to tell the story of the majestic suite of buildings that came to dominate the heart of midtown Manhattan and with it, for a time, the heart of the world. At the center of Okrent's riveting story are four remarkable individuals?tycoon John D. Rockefeller, his ambitious son Nelson Rockefeller, real estate genius John R. Todd, and visionary skyscraper architect Raymond Hood. In the tradition of David McCullough's The Great Bridge, Ron Chernow's Titan, and Robert Caro's The Power Broker, Great Fortune is a stunning tribute to an American landmark that captures the heart and spirit of New York at its apotheosis.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 512 pages
  • 156 x 232 x 22mm | 662.26g
  • Penguin Books
  • New York, NY, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • Illustrations, unspecified
  • 0142001775
  • 9780142001776
  • 554,792

Review quote

Puckish good humor and elegant prose. ("The Wall Street Journal")
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About Daniel Okrent

Daniel Okrent is a prizewinning journalist, author, and television commentator. For many years he was a senior editorial executive at Time Inc. In 2003 he was appointed the first Public Editor of the New York Times.
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Table of contents

A Note to the Reader

Prologue: May 21, 1928 and September 30, 1939

The Heart of This Great City

A Commonplace Person

These Properties Will Be Greatly Increased in Value

I Chose the Latter Course

Architecture Never Lies

Tears of Joy to a Small Business Man

I Like Having a Lot of People Against Me

A Genius

A Hundred Lawsuits

Let Owen Young Do It

Who Designed Rockefeller Center?

Wondering Where I'm Going to Get the Money

Our Architects Deserve to Remain in Chains

Desperate for Business

Give 'Em Something Better

Ruthlessness Was Just Another Word for Good Business

All the Finns in Helsingfors

What Do You Paint, When You Paint on a Wall?

I Was Not Interested in Sitting and Listening

Visitors Give Him Dollars

The Snake Changing Its Skin

The Kingdom of the World

The Demand is Almost Unbelievable

Epilogue: 1948-2003

Illustration Credits
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Rating details

217 ratings
3.95 out of 5 stars
5 30% (65)
4 42% (92)
3 23% (49)
2 3% (7)
1 2% (4)
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