The Marshall Fields: The Evolution of an American Business Dynasty

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9780471024934: The Marshall Fields: The Evolution of an American Business Dynasty
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A classic American success story with a twist

Like J. P. Morgan, John D. Rockefeller, and Andrew Carnegie,Marshall Field was one of the overlords of triumphant capitalism inthe Gilded Age of the late nineteenth century. However, hisphenomenal wealth and generous philanthropy masked a disastrouspersonal life. Deserted by his wife and alienated from hischildren, the founder of the Field dynasty left a legacy of immensewealth and misery to match.

The Marshall Fields recounts the classic tale of Field sspectacular success as well as the tragic story of a man who, whilemaking millions by knowing what women wanted, had no inkling of hisown wife s emotional needs. This revealing account follows the nextfive generations of the Field family, concentrating on the mostimportant and controversial figures in each generation. Whatemerges is a startling saga of money, madness, and mystery.

From the son who may have been shot by a chorus girl to thegreat-great grandson who used his millions to create Hollywoodfantasies, Field s descendants have caromed wildly betweenrebellion and folly. Their story offers a new and penetrating takeon wealth, success, and the nightmare that often accompanies theAmerican dream.

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At a time when the average American earned $500 a year, MarshallField enjoyed a tidy annual income of $40 million. Unlike hisrobber-baron contemporaries, however, Field was the enlightenedprince of the Gilded Age. Always looking toward the future, hebuilt his department store empire on a solid foundation of quality,customer service, and a hard-earned reputation for honesty and goodcharacter. His attempts to secure the future of his family and hisfortune were less successful.

The Marshall Fields follows this terse and industrious youngfarm boy’s career as he learns how to make millions by knowingwhat women want. It reveals the tactics and innovations thatenabled Field to keep his business growing while many around himsuccumbed to the ravages of the Chicago fire, bank panics, andconstant, fierce competition. But Field’s phenomenal successcame at a high price.

Noted biographer Axel Madsen creates a moving portrait of anaging and lonely tycoon whose estranged wife departed for Europeand may have died a drug addict; whose dissolute son may havecommitted suicide or been shot by a floozy; and whose iron-cladwill was designed to keep his immense fortune intact for at leastfour generations.

Armed with this enormous wealth, the succeeding Fieldgenerations caromed wildly between rebellion and folly, haunted bya palpable sense of alienation and a deep fear of the hereditaryinsanity that led many family members to suicide or to commitmentin mental institutions. You’ll meet the jazz-age playboy whosuffered that peculiar kind of public contempt reserved foridealists with money, the diligent businessman who tried to expandthe family fortune, and the contentious half-brothers who finallymanaged to dissolve it.

This multigenerational saga of money, madness, and mystery tellsa Jekyll-and-Hyde story of American capitalism–a tale of driveand nerve and moral stumbles. Sometimes shocking, often absurd, andalways absorbing reading, The Marshall Fields offers a rare andunforgettably intimate look at the glorious and tragic history ofone of America’s most venerable business families.

About the Author:

AXEL MADSEN has written sixteen biographies, including The Deal Maker: How William C. Durant Made General Motors and John Jacob Astor: America's First Multimillionaire (both from Wiley). His other books include Chanel: A Woman of Her Own and Gloria and Joe: The Star-Crossed Love Affair of Gloria Swanson and Joe Kennedy. Madsen lives in Los Angeles.

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9780756786991: Marshall Fields: The Evolution of an American Business Dynasty

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Book Description John Wiley and Sons Ltd, United States, 2002. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. A classic American success story with a twist Like J. P. Morgan, John D. Rockefeller, and Andrew Carnegie, Marshall Field was one of the overlords of triumphant capitalism in the Gilded Age of the late nineteenth century. However, his phenomenal wealth and generous philanthropy masked a disastrous personal life. Deserted by his wife and alienated from his children, the founder of the Field dynasty left a legacy of immense wealth and misery to match. The Marshall Fields recounts the classic tale of Field s spectacular success as well as the tragic story of a man who, while making millions by knowing what women wanted, had no inkling of his own wife s emotional needs. This revealing account follows the next five generations of the Field family, concentrating on the most important and controversial figures in each generation. What emerges is a startling saga of money, madness, and mystery. From the son who may have been shot by a chorus girl to the great-great grandson who used his millions to create Hollywood fantasies, Field s descendants have caromed wildly between rebellion and folly. Their story offers a new and penetrating take on wealth, success, and the nightmare that often accompanies the American dream. Seller Inventory # AAH9780471024934

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Book Description John Wiley & Sons Inc, United States, 2002. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. A classic American success story with a twist Like J. P. Morgan, John D. Rockefeller, and Andrew Carnegie, Marshall Field was one of the overlords of triumphant capitalism in the Gilded Age of the late nineteenth century. However, his phenomenal wealth and generous philanthropy masked a disastrous personal life. Deserted by his wife and alienated from his children, the founder of the Field dynasty left a legacy of immense wealth and misery to match. The Marshall Fields recounts the classic tale of Field s spectacular success as well as the tragic story of a man who, while making millions by knowing what women wanted, had no inkling of his own wife s emotional needs. This revealing account follows the next five generations of the Field family, concentrating on the most important and controversial figures in each generation. What emerges is a startling saga of money, madness, and mystery. From the son who may have been shot by a chorus girl to the great-great grandson who used his millions to create Hollywood fantasies, Field s descendants have caromed wildly between rebellion and folly.Their story offers a new and penetrating take on wealth, success, and the nightmare that often accompanies the American dream. Seller Inventory # AAH9780471024934

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