Hershey

Milton S. Hershey's Extraordinary Life of Wealth, Empire, and Utopian Dreams
Narrated by: Jonathan Yen
Length: 13 hrs and 34 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (23 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The name Hershey evokes many things: chocolate bars, the company town in Pennsylvania, one of America's most recognizable brands. But who was the man behind the name? In this compelling biography, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Michael D'Antonio gives us the real-life rags-to-riches story of Milton S. Hershey, a largely uneducated businessman whose idealistic sense of purpose created an immense financial empire, a town, and a legacy that lasts to this day.   

Hershey, the son of a minister's daughter and an irresponsible father who deserted the family, began his career inauspiciously when the two candy shops he opened both went bankrupt. Undeterred, he started the Lancaster Caramel Company, which brought him success at last. Eventually, he sold his caramel operation and went on to perfect the production process of chocolate to create a stable, consistent bar with a long shelf life...and an American icon was born.   

Hershey was more than a successful businessman - he was a progressive thinker who believed in capitalism as a means to higher goals. He built the world's largest chocolate factory and a utopian village for his workers on a large tract of land in rural Pennsylvania and used his own fortune to keep his workers employed during the Great Depression. In addition, he secretly willed his fortune to a boys' school and orphanage, both of which now control a vast endowment.   

Extensively researched and vividly written, Hershey is the fascinating story of this uniquely American visionary.

©2006 Michael D’Antonio (P)2019 Tantor

Critic Reviews

“D'Antonio offers a balanced and genial look at the man who brought America the five-cent chocolate bar.” (Publishers Weekly)

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The Benchmark for Chartiable, Rich Men

Milton Hershey came from nothing and built himself into a success by failing over and over again. After failing enough time, Milton learned how to make caramel and later chocolate. Soon after his chocolate success, Milton began giving back to his employees and to the people in his community. Milton died with little wealth, but helped thousands of people ascend out of poverty.

This is a great biography. If you are looking for a person who did good with the wealth they were given, check this book out.

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interesting story about an invisible man

Milton S. Hershey created a company and a town within 100km of where I grew up, but I never heard about him. I did go to Hershey (the town) and to Hersheypark, but I never knew how fascinating the founder's life was. The events on this book took place during a fascinating era in America and there are many echoes into the world of today.

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  • Fred
  • 05-19-20

Beautifully balanced and narrated biography

This book is just the right length and superbly narrated. A fascinating story of an industrial progressive.