The Business of Tomorrow: The Visionary Life of Harry Guggenheim: From Aviation and Rocketry to the Creation of an Art Dynasty

The Business of Tomorrow: The Visionary Life of Harry Guggenheim: From Aviation and Rocketry to the Creation of an Art Dynasty

by Dirk Smillie


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A veteran Forbes journalist brings to life the brilliant and complex Harry Guggenheim in the first-ever biography on this groundbreaking American figure.

At the turn of the last century, the Guggenheim family ran the most powerful mining conglomerate on earth. Decades later came the Guggenheim museum, which became the hub of the world’s most powerful art brand. In between, the Guggenheim name was uttered in every field from aviation to politics, from journalism to rocketry.

But who was behind this epic sphere of influence? It took three generations of Guggenheims to build the wealth in its first era. Yet it was the singular force of Harry Guggenheim who would guide the family’s next generation of businesses into modernity. Part angel investor, part entrepreneur, part technologist, Harry launched businesses whose impact on 20th century America went far beyond the Guggenheims’ mines or museum. His visionary investments continue to profoundly influence our world and hold valuable business lessons for billionaire dynasty builders like Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk.

A flawed but brilliant man, Harry Guggenheim was the confidante to five American presidents and a key financial force behind commercial aviation and space exploration, two innovations that catapulted the nation into the future.

With unprecedented archival access, Dirk Smillie astutely examines Harry’s business acumen, intellectual curiosities, and the world he lived in. Whether it was his paradoxical friendship with Charles Lindbergh or his dynamic and ambitions family members, Smillie puts Harry’s life and work in rich context. Epic and intimate, The Business of Tomorrow reveals the fascinating life of an American icon.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781643134208
Publisher: Pegasus Books
Publication date: 10/05/2021
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 54,403
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

Dirk Smillie is a former senior Forbes reporter who has also worked at Guggenheim Partners. He is the author of Falwell, Inc. and lives in New York City.

Table of Contents

Introduction ix

1 Bandits and Bullion 1

2 The Apprentice 13

3 A Proper Education 30

4 Ores of Chuqui 45

5 Showdown 62

6 Godfather of Flight 82

7 Lord of the Wings 98

8 Eyes in the Sky 115

9 Tropical Mussolini 131

10 Muzzle Velocity 149

11 Rockets and Rackets 165

12 When Harry Met Alicia 184

13 Horsepower 205

14 The House that Harry Built 219

15 Tabloid Titan 238

16 Destiny of the Dynasty 254

Epilogue 277

Notes 289

Index 328

Acknowledgments 339

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