In the tradition of Rich Cohen's Sweet and Low and Sean Wilsey's Oh the Glory of It All, a memoir of a city, an industry, and a dynasty in decline, and the story of a young artist's struggle to find her way out of the ruins.
Frances Stroh's earliest memories are ones of great privilege: shopping trips to London and New York, lunches served by black-tied waiters at the Regency Hotel, and a house filled with precious antiques, which she was forbidden to touch. Established in Detroit in 1850, by 1984 the Stroh Brewing Company had become the largest private beer fortune in America and a brand emblematic of the American dream itself; while Stroh was coming of age, the Stroh family fortune was estimated to be worth $700 million.
But behind the beautiful façade lay a crumbling foundation. Detroit's economy collapsed with the retreat of the automotive industry to the suburbs and abroad, and the Stroh family found their wealth and legacy disappearing. As their fortune dissolved in a little over a decade, the family was torn apart internally by divorce and one family member's drug bust; disagreements over the management of the business; and disputes over the remaining money they possessed. Even as they turned against one another, looking for a scapegoat on whom to blame the unraveling of their family, they could not anticipate that even far greater tragedy lay in store.
Stroh's memoir is elegantly spare in structure and mercilessly clear-eyed in its self-appraisal - at once a universally relatable family drama and a great American story.
©2016 Frances Stroh (P)2016 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Wow France's - you are quite an author.
I am from the Detroit area so I really get this book. I am from France's generations so I really get her. While I remember hearing the story of the strohs demise I never realized the lives it impacted. Francis Stroh is a beautiful soul and true kind survivor. I've always said inherited money is 50% blessing and 50% curse, this book proved that. I
really enjoyed her story and her writing and will certainly look for more work from her. God bless you and the Stroh family.
Amazingly honest portrayal of the B family through the tough times. Not a super up lifting story or one of redemption but an honest look at the decline of an American family's fortune
This book seemed to be a cathartic story for the author but not as interesting as I thought it would be. A sad family. She is a lovely person and the performance was very good.
enjoyed hearing about a life that was so dissimilar to my family's in wealth but somewhat similar in its dysfunction! alcoholism and drug abuse, second marriages causing squandering of assets, people who cannot live frugally, an inability to stop a family business from sliding into oblivion...
also interesting for people interested in detroit, michigan, and the decline of american industry and companies.
my only real complaint is that I did not understand how much money she had. enough to be in a country club and have private schools but it was unclear to me if the family had a million in assets, ten million, a hundred million..
I enjoyed the parts where she tried to be more technical about Stroh's financial decline. I think even more detail on this would have been interesting....
I also recommend the memoir by the daughter of hoarders. kim someone. far superior to celebrity ones.
I chose this book based on another high review and I was disappointed. While I give the author credit for sharing candidly her life, both the good memories and the difficult, I found after awhile it seemed like whining (not necessarily all by her, but through her) without a point or plot. The writing was at times above average and at times forced; the outline flowing in places and messy or lost in others.
As a Detroiter I was anxious to read about Ms. Stroh's recollections of the years of her youth. Her observations seemed to be gleaned from some magazine article about the rise and fall of a once great city. I was disappointed.
Someone who has no life
She is excellent
The story covers a mundane life of an unaccomplished artist. I was hoping to have some insight into the saga of the Strohs company, but it was so superficial while focusing on Frances Stroh's unremarkable life experiences.
This is a story of a family with an abundance of wealth and privilege that squandered everything.
While the entire 'woe is me' whining about the author's difficulties of growing up in such a privileged environment is tiresome, what is truly reprehensible about this branch of the Stroh's family is the turning away from a son who was probably autistic, which resulted in him falling into a life of despair and dying an early death.
I regret having supported the author with my purchase.
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