Families of Fortune: Life in the Gilded Age

Overview

Never in history were greater fortunes made and spent than in the Gilded Age, a period of immense prosperity that lasted in Europe from 1870's through 1914 and in the United States until the Crash of 1929. This beautiful and richly illustrated book traces the rice of the great robber barons around the world, and explains the alchemy by which the Rothschilds, Vanderbilts, Astors and Rockefellers, among others, rose from rags to riches thanks to monopolies, government corruption, or financial skullduggery linked to...
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Overview

Never in history were greater fortunes made and spent than in the Gilded Age, a period of immense prosperity that lasted in Europe from 1870's through 1914 and in the United States until the Crash of 1929. This beautiful and richly illustrated book traces the rice of the great robber barons around the world, and explains the alchemy by which the Rothschilds, Vanderbilts, Astors and Rockefellers, among others, rose from rags to riches thanks to monopolies, government corruption, or financial skullduggery linked to blinding ambition and a passion for hard work. But the Gilded Age was as much about making fortunes as spending them, and the author entertainingly describes the competitive castle-building, art collecting, and above all social climbing of the newly rich, who aspired to be a new aristocracy while plotting to join the closed circle of the declining ancien regime.

Author Biography: Alexis Gregory writes for Vanity Fair, Conde Nast Traveler, Art and Auction and Town and Country. His last book, published by Rizzoli, was Paris de luxe. The Place Vendome.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
The author, who writes on travel and the arts for Vanity Fair, Art and Auction, Conde Nast Traveler, and Town and Country, admits in his acknowledgments that he regrets not having lived during the Gilded Age (presumably as one of the gilded), and his narrative does not dwell on injustices or pass judgment on those who prospered. Aided by illustrations on every page (and many that are full-or two-page spreads), his chronicle tells how fortunes were made in the age which began in the 1870s and ended in the US in 1929--and how those fortunes were spent, conveying the extravagant, indulgent, competitive spirit of the time. Lavishly produced. 10x12.5" Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780865651807
  • Publisher: Vendome Press
  • Publication date: 10/1/2001
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 9.50 (w) x 12.25 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Table of Contents

"Conspicuous Consumption Illustrated" 7
Overture 9
Real Estate 21
Transportation 35
Discoverers, Consolidators, and Monopolists 57
Bankers 81
Millionaires' Houses 103
Collectors 133
Travel 163
Society 185
Epilogue 218
Bibliography 219
Index 220
Photographic Credits 223
Acknowledgments 224
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