A well researched and sweeping portrait of Vanderbilt's motivations, intelligence, and tenacity deftly woven into the shared American experience.
For a history buff, this was an excellent book. It combined the personal and business life of Vanderbilt perfectly, and spun them together with the political and historical context. It was clearly well-researched, and flew counter to other historical analyses of Vanderbilt based on Stiles' more complete study of his subject. Deakins' performance could be a bit monotone at times, but he seemed to come more alive as the biography progressed.
Dude, after reading Titan on John D Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegies autobio, and The Billionaire Who Wasn't, this was next up on the list. The men back in that time who built Americas infrastructure were men of iron. To be able to document that much about mans life shows he truly lived---- from working at a port to getting into the steamboat carrier business, to the rail lines in the end, he was most definitely a Tycoon.
A great read to follow up with is What Would the Rockefellars do showing what the JDR family did differently than the Commodors family to ensure their wealth lasted into future generations,,,,,,,, if I had to relisten to this, I prob would, just see how much a man can accomplish and even more so that it doesn't mean your wealth will carry on if you don't plan for it to long after you are there to manage it----
DCObrigkeit West Orange N
This books shows the evolution of out financial system in a very personal way by showing its human perspectives by the people involved that yes we have heard of in history texts but this reveals very real of how each change came about using real transactions and real companies
There are few books that I give up on, but having tried over and over to listen with interest, I am almost ready to say, "No more." Perhaps this could be considered a scholarly work; maybe more suited as a textbook. One needs a flowchart of characters and a passion for and/or a degree in economics to appreciate the plethora of facts recited in this tome. If I were forced to consume the facts in this book, I would prefer to have a print copy, list of characters and an atlas of the world and United States.