Commodore: The Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt

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9780465002559: Commodore: The Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt
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Commodore: The Life Of Cornelius Vanderbilt, by Renehan, Edward J. Jr

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About the Author:

Edward J. Rehehan Jr. is the author of several books including Dark Genius of Wall Street, The Kennedys at War, The Lion's Pride, The Secret Six, and John Burroughs. He contributes to such publications as American Heritage and has appeared on the History Channel, C-SPAN, and PBS. He lives in Rhode Island.

From Publishers Weekly:

The latest from Renehan, author most recently of a much-praised biography of another titan of 19th-century business, Jay Gould, is a thorough look at Cornelius Vanderbilt (1794–1877), who rose from nothing to amass one of the great fortunes in American history (more than $158 billion in 2005 dollars) in the burgeoning steamship and railroad industries. A brilliant, vicious businessman with little education, manners or patience for fools—including his long-suffering wife and 14 children—Vanderbilt makes an almost prototypical figure of pure American laissez-faire entrepreneurship. Unfortunately, for significant portions of this bio, the man gets lost behind the icon. Though Renehan's writing proves colorful, insightful and efficient in describing Vanderbilt's spirited early adventures taking on the steamship monopolies of former senator Aaron Ogden and others, the middle third of the book is too often bogged down in details that will appeal mainly to the business-minded—an endless cascade of ships (and their vital stats), routes and dollar amounts—and overshadow both narrative and character. Still, Vanderbilt's personal life is fascinating; highlights include the Vanderbilts' grand tour of Europe, his lifelong penchant for prostitutes (including the Woodhull sisters, whom Vanderbilt made the first female brokers on Wall Street) and the syphilis-induced madness that plagued his final years—material new in this biography and a testament to Renehan's typically assiduous research. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780465002566: Commodore: The Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt

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ISBN 10:  0465002560 ISBN 13:  9780465002566
Publisher: Basic Books, 2009
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9781458754868: Commodore: The Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt

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