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Vanderbilt: The Rise and Fall of an American…
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Vanderbilt: The Rise and Fall of an American Dynasty (edizione 2021)

di Anderson Cooper (Autore)

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260584,582 (3.84)4
New York Times bestselling author and journalist Anderson Cooper teams with New York Times bestselling historian and novelist Katherine Howe to chronicle the rise and fall of a legendary American dynasty--his mother's family, the Vanderbilts. One of the Washington Post's Notable Works of Nonfiction of 2021 When eleven-year-old Cornelius Vanderbilt began to work on his father's small boat ferrying supplies in New York Harbor at the beginning of the nineteenth century, no one could have imagined that one day he would, through ruthlessness, cunning, and a pathological desire for money, build two empires--one in shipping and another in railroads--that would make him the richest man in America. His staggering fortune was fought over by his heirs after his death in 1877, sowing familial discord that would never fully heal. Though his son Billy doubled the money left by "the Commodore," subsequent generations competed to find new and ever more extraordinary ways of spending it. By 2018, when the last Vanderbilt was forced out of The Breakers--the seventy-room summer estate in Newport, Rhode Island, that Cornelius's grandson and namesake had built--the family would have been unrecognizable to the tycoon who started it all. Now, the Commodore's great-great-great-grandson Anderson Cooper, joins with historian Katherine Howe to explore the story of his legendary family and their outsized influence. Cooper and Howe breathe life into the ancestors who built the family's empire, basked in the Commodore's wealth, hosted lavish galas, and became synonymous with unfettered American capitalism and high society. Moving from the hardscrabble wharves of old Manhattan to the lavish drawing rooms of Gilded Age Fifth Avenue, from the ornate summer palaces of Newport to the courts of Europe, and all the way to modern-day New York, Cooper and Howe wryly recount the triumphs and tragedies of an American dynasty unlike any other. Written with a unique insider's viewpoint, this is a rollicking, quintessentially American history as remarkable as the family it so vividly captures.… (altro)
Utente:drigsby
Titolo:Vanderbilt: The Rise and Fall of an American Dynasty
Autori:Anderson Cooper (Autore)
Info:Harper (2021), 336 pages
Collezioni:Lista dei desideri
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Vanderbilt: The Rise and Fall of an American Dynasty di Anderson Cooper

Aggiunto di recente daSheilaValentino, biblioteca privata, ruthiekro, sirgoodburger, IrishSue, TIMatthews, MaggieFlo, sw1341, darkeyes3302
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Mostra 5 di 5
I haven't quite finished the book yet, but I don't think anything in the last few chapters will change my opinion. I was thoroughly disgusted by the shallowness of the lives of these ultra-wealthy people. They seemed to have no thought of actually contributing something to the world beyond entertaining on an astoundingly lavish scale and building bigger and better homes to outdo their peers. Where's the work ethic? Where's the social conscience? Where's the desire to do something worthwhile with their vast fortunes? At least Carnegie built libraries all over the country with his money. Even the Sackler family of Oxycontin fame donated millions (billions?) to museums and other public institutions around the world. (Those institutions are now embarrassed to have accepted their tainted money, but that's another story.) This book seems like a thorough condemnation of the Vanderbilts to me; am I missing something?; is it too one-sided?

Ah yes, Ellie, I DID forget about Vanderbilt University, but that was founded by the Commodore who also worked hard to make the fortune in the first place. (And I can't help thinking about the fact that the university was a monument to southern gentility which the Confederacy had tried to preserve on the backs of slave labor). The Commodore's son also added to the fortune with his business in railroads, but the heirs after that were a sorry lot. Maybe I can spare a bit of sympathy for their unhappy lives and view them as a life lesson -- not that I or anyone in my family will ever be faced with the question of what to do with our millions. The Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu tell us that joy comes to our lives when we think not of ourselves but of others (The Book of Joy). I didn't think about the author's motivation in writing this book until I realized that Anderson Cooper's mother was Gloria Vanderbilt. Then I could understand why she was treated more sympathetically than the rest of the family. Also, do I suspect a hint of spite in his story? ( )
  NMBookClub | Apr 14, 2022 |
I knew little about the Vanderbilts until I read Anderson Cooper’s enlightening exploration of his family’s twist- filled legacy. In many respects, it was a lively lesson in American history that shed light on numerous eras, the rise of some business icons and the pitfalls that can come with accumulated wealth. Some of the sections went on a bit too long for my liking – including one too many extravagant balls/parties. Then again, this a biography of the Vanderbilt family. Overall, I found Cooper’s work interesting and well worth my time. ( )
  brianinbuffalo | Jan 2, 2022 |
Good. Not as good as The Rainbow Comes and Goes. Would have liked even more photos. ( )
  cherybear | Nov 24, 2021 |
Purchased for trip which included Vanderbilt Mansion in Hyde Park. Mildly entertaining. ( )
  mlhershey | Oct 18, 2021 |
I've always had a fascination with the Vanderbilt family and was excited to see this book by Anderson Cooper, CNN anchor and a member of the most recent generation of Vanderbilts. I purchased the audiobook, and it did not disappoint. I finished it in two days--a testament to how engaging the story is and to Cooper as a reader.

Cooper begins with Cornelius Vanderbilt, the family patriarch who was known as "The Commodore." He worked on his father's ferry as a boy and, with a loan from his mother, purchased his own boat when only a teenager. It was he whop made the family fortune in shipping and railroads. Cooper makes a brief digression a few chapters later to take us back to the first family member to emigrate to New York from the Netherlands. He arrived as an indentured servant in 1650. Like many immigrant families, the Vanderbilts struggled through generations until The Commodore rose to the top of American industry and commerce. Love him or hate him (and many certainly hated him), he was one heck of a self-0made man.

The Vanderbilts did not lead a charmed life. The Commodore had thirteen children but discounted his nine daughters and wrote off two of his sons in his will. One son died young, another suffered from epilepsy and was for a time confined to a mental institution, and a third was rejected as a "wastrel"--a drinker with debts. That left his son Billy and Billy's four sons to inherit most of the Vanderbilt fortune. Although they reigned at the top of New York high society for decades, the family history is riddled with multiple divorces, scandals, suicides, alcoholism, and tragedies, including one son who went down with the Lusitania. Cooper spares no details. It wasn't until near her death that his mother, Gloria Vanderbilt, began to talk abut her troubled childhood and the infamous legal case in which her paternal aunt and her mother battled over her custody. Gloria was estranged from her mother until shortly before her death; she considered her nurse, nicknamed Dodo, as her mother, even fantasizing that she was her biological mother, and she never forgave her mother or her aunt for agreeing to fire Dodo. She and Anderson suffered through the early death of his father, Wyatt Cooper, from cancer and his brother Carter's suicide at the age of 23; Anderson was in the room when he jumped from the family's 14th-story apartment window.

Part of Cooper's purpose in revealing so much about his family is to let the public know that money does not always bring happiness--nor does it last. While he acknowledges that the Vanderbilt name opened doors for him along the way, by the time his father died, there was no fortune left for Gloria or for her sons to inherit. Gloria had to work hard and make her own way in the world through modeling, fashion design, and a home decor line. Sadly, she retained her Vanderbilt tastes and went through any money she earned like it was water. Cooper himself earned spare cash as a teenager by modelling and says that early on he did his best never to let people know about his Vanderbilt background.

This is a fascinating portrait of an extraordinarily successful and extraordinarily flowed family, told candidly by one of the last Vanderbilt descendants with great personal insight but empathy by one of the last Vanderbilt descendants. If you love family sagas or reading about Old New York or Hollywood society, or just have a curiosity about the lives of a renowned American family, this is one you won't want to miss. ( )
1 vota Cariola | Sep 26, 2021 |
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Anderson Cooperautore primariotutte le edizionicalcolato
Howe, Katherineautore principaletutte le edizioniconfermato
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To Wyatt. —A. C.

To my mother, Katherine S. Howe, and to Charles. — K. H.
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New York Times bestselling author and journalist Anderson Cooper teams with New York Times bestselling historian and novelist Katherine Howe to chronicle the rise and fall of a legendary American dynasty--his mother's family, the Vanderbilts. One of the Washington Post's Notable Works of Nonfiction of 2021 When eleven-year-old Cornelius Vanderbilt began to work on his father's small boat ferrying supplies in New York Harbor at the beginning of the nineteenth century, no one could have imagined that one day he would, through ruthlessness, cunning, and a pathological desire for money, build two empires--one in shipping and another in railroads--that would make him the richest man in America. His staggering fortune was fought over by his heirs after his death in 1877, sowing familial discord that would never fully heal. Though his son Billy doubled the money left by "the Commodore," subsequent generations competed to find new and ever more extraordinary ways of spending it. By 2018, when the last Vanderbilt was forced out of The Breakers--the seventy-room summer estate in Newport, Rhode Island, that Cornelius's grandson and namesake had built--the family would have been unrecognizable to the tycoon who started it all. Now, the Commodore's great-great-great-grandson Anderson Cooper, joins with historian Katherine Howe to explore the story of his legendary family and their outsized influence. Cooper and Howe breathe life into the ancestors who built the family's empire, basked in the Commodore's wealth, hosted lavish galas, and became synonymous with unfettered American capitalism and high society. Moving from the hardscrabble wharves of old Manhattan to the lavish drawing rooms of Gilded Age Fifth Avenue, from the ornate summer palaces of Newport to the courts of Europe, and all the way to modern-day New York, Cooper and Howe wryly recount the triumphs and tragedies of an American dynasty unlike any other. Written with a unique insider's viewpoint, this is a rollicking, quintessentially American history as remarkable as the family it so vividly captures.

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