The Hiltons: The True Story of an American Dynasty

( 6 )

Overview

THE HILTONS is a sweeping saga of the success-and excess-of an iconic American family. Demanding and enigmatic, patriarch Conrad Hilton's visionary ideas and unyielding will established the model for the modern luxury hotel industry. But outside the boardroom, Conrad struggled with emotional detachment, failed marriages, and conflicted Catholicism. Then there were his children: Playboy Nicky Hilton's tragic alcoholism and marriage to Elizabeth Taylor was the stuff of tabloid legend. Barron Hilton, on the other ...
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The Hiltons: The True Story of an American Dynasty

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Overview

THE HILTONS is a sweeping saga of the success-and excess-of an iconic American family. Demanding and enigmatic, patriarch Conrad Hilton's visionary ideas and unyielding will established the model for the modern luxury hotel industry. But outside the boardroom, Conrad struggled with emotional detachment, failed marriages, and conflicted Catholicism. Then there were his children: Playboy Nicky Hilton's tragic alcoholism and marriage to Elizabeth Taylor was the stuff of tabloid legend. Barron Hilton, on the other hand, deftly handled his father's legacy, carrying the Hilton brand triumphantly into the new millennium. Eric, raised apart from his older brothers, accepted his supporting role in the Hilton dynasty with calm and quiet-a stark contrast to the boys' much younger half-sister Francesca, whose battle for recognition led her into courtrooms and conflict. The cast of supporting players includes the inimitable Zsa Zsa Gabor, who was married to Conrad briefly and remained a thorn in his side for decades, and a host of other Hollywood and business luminaries with whom the Hiltons crossed paths and swords over the years.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

"Dynasty" is a term bandied about often, but the lineage begun by international hotel magnate Conrad Hilton (1887-1979) certainly fits the definition and, as a bonus, fulfills all the attributes of a real-life Danielle Steel novel. All the elements are there: An intense, workaholic empire builder who struggles through multiple marriages; legal battles over his fiercely contested will; offspring that include a Hollywood playboy and a loyal son; and walk-ons by characters including Zsa Zsa Gabor, Elizabeth Taylor, and, of course, Paris Hilton. An engrossing work by a talented celebrity biographer.

Publishers Weekly
01/27/2014
While the many players and the long timeline of this family saga could potentially have been confusing, best-selling biographer Taraborrelli (After Camelot) has given the story clarity by focusing on a few key figures. Readers will appreciate the life story of hotel baron Conrad Hilton, with heavy emphasis on his relationship with glamorous Zsa Zsa Gabor and his son Nicky. Less attention is paid to his other two sons, Barron and Eric, and his daughter Francesca, and a final curtain call is given to Paris Hilton, which will satisfy those who may only recognize her name. Two things stand out in this rags-to-riches tale: the driven work ethic and astute business sense of the patriarch, and the glamour and opulence of a well-rewarded life. There is drama, surely—court cases and break-ups abound—but those that wonder how the Hilton hotel empire came to be will get their answer: hard work. The story is full of celebrities—including Elizabeth Taylor, Joan Collins, Debbie Reynolds, and Donald Trump—and it’s a paean to a bygone era that also contains a few nuggets on how best to conduct oneself en route to the high life. (Apr.)
Kirkus Reviews
2014-04-02
A best-selling celebrity biographer chronicles the epic saga of a family as well known for its business empire as for its role as tabloid fodder. Today, the Hilton name might be more synonymous with gossip magazine headlines than the now-ubiquitous hotel chain that has outposts in every major city across the world. No longer is there a charismatic figurehead to act as the family's anchor or face of the company, as founder and family patriarch Conrad Hilton (1887-1979) once had been. We can only speculate how Conrad, a man of deep Catholic conviction and faith who was known to openly resent freeloading relatives, would react to the unseemly behavior of some of his heirs. Nevertheless, Taraborrelli (After Camelot: A Personal History of the Kennedy Family—1968 to the Present, 2012, etc.) gives each Hilton family member his or her due. From Conrad's tempestuous marriage to Zsa Zsa Gabor to son Nicky's ill-fated and abusive marriage to a nubile Elizabeth Taylor, the Hilton name has often found itself mired in social controversy. All the while, the Hilton brand of hotels continued to grow exponentially, developing into an international juggernaut. When Conrad's son Barron retired as CEO of the Hilton Hotel Corporation in 1996, the family's control of the company remained mostly symbolic until Blackstone Group, a private equity group, purchased the entire corporation in 2007 for $20.1 billion. No longer is a Hilton family member steering the empire built by Conrad. Instead, the family controls the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation to support various charitable causes and missions to fulfill Conrad's vision of building a better world. More than fluff, Taraborrelli has written the definitive biography of a family whose glory days may have passed but which simply refuses to recede into the background.
From the Publisher
A USA Today "New and Noteworthy" Book

"Riveting...Hang out the Do Not Disturb sign for this addictive tale."—People

"...filled with enough strange and wonderful anecdotes, and tales of love, greed, and horrid excess to fill a stack full of Jackie Collins novels."—NY Journal of Books

"A vivid account of the family's rise to fortune."—New York Daily News

"Deliciously dishy"—Elle

"Taraborrelli has written the definitive biography of a family whose glory days may have passed but which simply refuses to recede into the background."—Kirkus

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781455516698
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Publication date: 4/1/2014
  • Pages: 560
  • Sales rank: 195,466
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 2.10 (d)

Meet the Author

J. Randy Taraborrelli is a respected journalist, a recognizable entertainment personality, and in-demand guest on many television programs including Today, Good Morning America, The Early Show, Entertainment Tonight, and CNN Headline News. He is the bestselling author of 14 books.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 6 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 20, 2014

    Loved this book!

    I didn't think I would really get into it like I did but once I started it was hard to put down.

    There was so much background to the Hilton family starting with Conrad and how he built his chain of hotels and how he felt his sons needed to make their own way without handouts. They were a very close family and tried - and did - continue the work he started.

    The author is one whose work I've read many times and he does a very through job. Also a number of very interesting photos I had never seen.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 15, 2014

    The interesting life and times of Conrad Hilton and his family.

    The interesting life and times of Conrad Hilton and his family. I thought the book was well written. I enjoyed reading it.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2014

    Page turner

    What an amaxing story aniut a man I never cared to know anything about! Conrad Hilton, as rich as he was, was not the kind of man I expected him to be. Worth billions and yet he left his family just pennies....but yet thete is nothing bad I can think of this man! You just have to read it to understand.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews

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