The Life and Legend of Jay Gould by Maury Klein, Paperback | Barnes & Noble
The Life and Legend of Jay Gould

The Life and Legend of Jay Gould

by Maury Klein
     
 

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He was, for Joseph Pulitzer, "one of the most sinister figures that have ever flitted bat-like across the vision of the American people." According to the New York Times, "the work of reform is but half done... when people claiming to be respectable are not ashamed of being associated with a man such as he." He was Jay Gould, the individual who for a century

Overview

He was, for Joseph Pulitzer, "one of the most sinister figures that have ever flitted bat-like across the vision of the American people." According to the New York Times, "the work of reform is but half done... when people claiming to be respectable are not ashamed of being associated with a man such as he." He was Jay Gould, the individual who for a century has been singled out as the most despicable and unscrupulous of the Robber Barons. In this splendid biography, Maury Klein paints the most complete portrait of the notorious Gould that we have ever had. His Gould is a brilliant but ruthless businessman who merged dying railroads into expansive and profit-making lines, including the giant Union Pacific.

Editorial Reviews

Businessweek

Lucid and engrossing.

New York Review of Books

Klein has certainly done his homework.

— Louis S. Auchincloss

New York Times

Klein... has delved deep into archives that most previous writers on Gould have ignored, and is able to back up his revisionist assertions with a multitude of telling details.

Philadelphia Inquirer

Klein's biography is a balanced, objective, and fascinating account.

USA Today

A wonderful read.

Washington Post

Clearly organized, meticulously researched, and skillfully written.

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
His own and succeeding generations called him a robber baron, Wall Street shark, a secretive lone wolf brokering power and influence through his rail and communications empire. But Gould, according to Klein, has been unfairly cast as the villain of a new industrial age, his legend largely the creation of newspaper hacks. This massively researched biography lacks the spark of its subject, and its reassessment of the notorious financier is only sometimes convincing. Klein, a University of Rhode Island professor, is most engaging when he charts Gould's sly maneuvers vis-a-vis Vanderbilt, Tweed and other high rollers. There is undoubtedly some credibility in his sympathetic portrayal of Gould as a reformer of railroads, possessed by the dream of a transcontinental line. As a driven entrepreneur who seized the main chance long before his rivals, Gould is believable yet typical. In the end, we are left with a devoted family man for whom stable deals held no challenge. (May 26)
Library Journal - Library Journal
This revisionist biography seeks to remove the mantle of notoriety surrounding railroad magnate Jay Gould. Based upon previously unknown personal papers, Klein's research supports his contention that historians, unable to penetrate Gould's popular image as a sneak and a cheat, perpetuated it. This is an important new reading of a major figure in American business history, the first complete portrait of Gould's public and private life, and the first major examination of Gould to appear in a generation. Klein's stilted prose style is distracting, but he has successfully challenged the classic ``robber baron'' label affixed to Gould. Libraries concerned with business history, late 19th-century America, or historiographical revisionism will be interested in this. Susan E. Parker, Tufts Univ. Lib., Medford, Mass.
Booknews
Jay Gould was considered the most notorious robber baron of mid- 19th century America. In this biography, Klein (history, U of Rhode Island) asserts that the traditional image of Gould was created almost entirely by the press, and bears little resemblance to the truth. He maintains that in spite of his ruthlessness, Gould possessed extraordinary talent, daring, vision, and loyalty. A reprint of the 1986 edition. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780801857713
Publisher:
Johns Hopkins University Press
Publication date:
10/28/1997
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
640
Product dimensions:
6.50(w) x 9.54(h) x 1.63(d)
Age Range:
Up to 18 Years

Meet the Author

Maury Klein is professor of history at the University of Rhode Island. He is the author of nine books, including Unfinished Business: The Railroad in American Life, The Flowering of the Third America: The Making of an Organizational Society, 1850-1920, and the two-volume Union Pacific.

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