We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
Call anytime(888) 283-5051
The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt | [T. J. Stiles]

The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt

In The First Tycoon, Stiles offers the first complete, authoritative biography of this titan, and the first comprehensive account of the Commodore's personal life. It is a sweeping, fast-moving epic, and a complex portrait of the great man. Vanderbilt, Stiles shows, embraced the philosophy of the Jacksonian Democrats and withstood attacks by his conservative enemies for being too competitive. He was a visionary who pioneered business models.
Regular Price:$51.93
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

Publisher's Summary

Pulitzer Prize, Biography/Autobiography, 2010

National Book Award, Nonfiction, 2009

A gripping, groundbreaking biography of the combative man whose genius and force of will created modern capitalism.

Founder of a dynasty, builder of the original Grand Central, creator of an impossibly vast fortune, Cornelius "Commodore" Vanderbilt is an American icon. Humbly born on Staten Island during George Washington's presidency, he rose from boatman to builder of the nation's largest fleet of steamships to lord of a railroad empire. Lincoln consulted him on steamship strategy during the Civil War; Jay Gould was first his uneasy ally and then sworn enemy; and Victoria Woodhull, the first woman to run for president of the United States, was his spiritual counselor. We see Vanderbilt help to launch the transportation revolution, propel the Gold Rush, reshape Manhattan, and invent the modern corporation - in fact, as T. J. Stiles elegantly argues, Vanderbilt did more than perhaps any other individual to create the economic world we live in today.

In The First Tycoon, Stiles offers the first complete, authoritative biography of this titan, and the first comprehensive account of the Commodore's personal life. It is a sweeping, fast-moving epic, and a complex portrait of the great man. Vanderbilt, Stiles shows, embraced the philosophy of the Jacksonian Democrats and withstood attacks by his conservative enemies for being too competitive. He was a visionary who pioneered business models. He was an unschooled fistfighter who came to command the respect of New York's social elite. And he was a father who struggled with a gambling-addicted son, a husband who was loving yet abusive, and, finally, an old man who was obsessed with contacting the dead.

The First Tycoon is the exhilarating story of a man and a nation maturing together: the powerful account of a man whose life was as epic and complex as American history itself.

©2009 T.J. Stiles; (P)2009 Random House

What the Critics Say

"Rousing . . . An exemplary biography." (Kirkus)

"For all its complexity, T.J. Stiles's appreciative account of Vanderbilt's derring-do is a model of clarity, briskness and brio, and Mark Deakins's unhurried, pleasantly grave delivery serves it well." (Washington Post Book World)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (258 )
5 star
 (102)
4 star
 (85)
3 star
 (46)
2 star
 (17)
1 star
 (8)
Overall
4.1 (163 )
5 star
 (76)
4 star
 (46)
3 star
 (28)
2 star
 (8)
1 star
 (5)
Story
4.1 (166 )
5 star
 (65)
4 star
 (67)
3 star
 (24)
2 star
 (4)
1 star
 (6)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Dale Sebastopol, CA, United States 09-19-11
    Dale Sebastopol, CA, United States 09-19-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    57
    12
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Extremely Boring"

    This book is one long history of Vanderbilt's business deals. Deal after deal, pulling himself up each rung of the economic ladder, happily defrauding anyone who gets in his way.
    According to this book, he has no personal life, no friends, nothing but business.
    I tried to get into this book for the historical time, but after a few tries, it just felt like a waste of time

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Warren Cary, NC, United States 12-17-11
    Warren Cary, NC, United States 12-17-11 Member Since 2011
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    26
    8
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Too Much C.V."
    Would you try another book from T. J. Stiles and/or Mark Deakins?

    Interesting reading in the beggining, but filled with detials, details and more details with no story line except details on C.V.


    Would you ever listen to anything by T. J. Stiles again?

    Unlikely


    What didn’t you like about Mark Deakins’s performance?

    Voice rose and fell with excitment


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Would make a good historical reference


    Any additional comments?

    I used two credits that I can never get back.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 21-22 of 22 results PREVIOUS123NEXT

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.