The First Tycoon: The Epic Life Of Cornelius Vanderbilt
ISBN: 1400031745
EAN13: 9781400031740
Language: English
Release Date: Apr 20, 2010
Pages: 736
Dimensions: 1.6" H x 9.2" L x 6.1" W
Weight: 1.1 lbs.
Format: Paperback
Publisher:
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Book Overview

NATIONAL BESTSELER
WINER OF THE NATIONAL BOK AWARD

In this groundbreaking biography, T.J. Stiles tells the dramatic story of Cornelius Commodore Vanderbilt, the combative man and American icon who, through his genius and force of will, did more than perhaps any other individual to create modern capitalism. Meticulously researched and elegantly written, The First Tycoon describes an improbable life, from Vanderbilt's humble birth during the presidency of George Washington to his death as one of the richest men in American history. In between we see how the Commodore helped to launch the transportation revolution, propel the Gold Rush, reshape Manhattan, and invent the modern corporation. Epic in its scope and success, the life of Vanderbilt is also the story of the rise of America itself.

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Book Reviews (5)

5
  |   5  reviews
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5
   Excellent Work
Excellent biographical information. Well written. There was no political slant or judgement. The man helped build the country but some of his tactics were ruthless. I like to read like a novel. The author gives a reader perspective. I recommend it to people who read history.
 
5
   How biographies are supposed to be done
The biographies are supposed to be done like this, except for the early history of Vanderbilt where sources are less plentiful. Commodore is not lionized or vilified but rather laid bare in the most objective way possible, along with his family and wife. The book recreates the climate and culture that was in place in the area where Vanderbilt moved. A very useful source for the steamship era, the railroad era, early American business, the rise of the corporation, the rise of American cities, early finance, this book moves through all of these topics while carrying a very human character through a very long and influential life.
 
3
   Disappointing
I didn't think I would be able to finish this book. I was going to write a book about the making of Commodore, but it was more about what was happening in New York at the time. If you want a book about Commodore Commodore, this is not it.
 
3
   Very hard to read. Order the Kindle version.
This is a large book. There is a tour of economics in the 19 th century. I found it difficult to keep up with who the author was trying to say from paragraph to paragraph and page to page. There are too many ambiguous pronouns. If I didn't have to labor over pronouns in each paragraph, I could have learned a lot more. It was a worthwhile read for me. The paperback is very heavy and the type is small, so I recommend ordering the ebook version. I bought the paperback as I was going to read it. It was too difficult to read and a big mistake. I was much happier when I ordered it in the e- tailer.
 
5
   Excellent read
I was looking for a biography of an accomplished businessman and this was the perfect one. It covers a vital part of american history between the revolution and civil war that helped my understanding of how the nation matured into what it is today. The book is well researched and well written. The subject was treated objectively and captured the context in which he operated. Sometimes the chronology of events is hard to follow because there are so many notable people that worked with him. It is an enjoyable read. I only knew of the man through the name of the university, but now I know him and his country.
 
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