The First Tycoon by T. J. Stiles audiobook

The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt

By T. J. Stiles
Read by Mark Deakins

Random House Audio
28.76 Hours 1
Format : Digital Download (In Stock)
  • $32.50
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    ISBN: 9780739384978

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.

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Summary

Summary

A New York Times bestseller

Winner of the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography

Winner of the 2009 National Book Award for Nonfiction

One of the 2009 New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books for Nonfiction

A 2009 Boston Globe Book of the Year for Nonfiction

A 2009 Kansas City Star Top 100 Book for Nonfiction

A 2009 San Francisco Chronicle Best Book for Nonfiction

A 2009 Christian Science Monitor Book of the Year for Nonfiction

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.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“Stiles writes with both the panache of a fine journalist and the analytical care of a seasoned scholar. And he offers a fruitful way to think about the larger history of American elites as well as the life of one of their most famous members.” New York Times Book Review
“Stiles, a superb researcher, has unearthed quantities of new material and crafted them into the illuminating, authoritative portrait of Vanderbilt that has been missing for so long.” Washington Post
“Very absorbing…Much more than a biography. The book is filled with important, exhaustively researched, and indeed fascinating details that would profit every student of American business and social history to read.” San Francisco Chronicle
“Stiles has painted a full-bodied, nuanced picture of the man…Elegance of style and fair-minded intent illuminate Stiles’s latest, expectedly profound exploration of American culture in the raw.” Boston Globe
“Superbly written and researched…Worthy of its subject.” Economist
“Vanderbilt’s story is indeed epic, and so is The First Tycoon…Stiles is a perceptive and witty writer with a remarkable ability to paint a picture of the America in which Vanderbilt lived.” Christian Science Monitor
“Fascinating…A reminder that Vanderbilt’s life and times still have much to teach us.” Newsweek
“Gracefully written…[Vanderbilt] was the right man in the right place at the right time, and the meticulous Stiles seems to be the right man to tell us about it.” St. Petersburg Times
“Engrossing and provocative…Stiles draws on exhaustive archival research to clear away the apocryphal and celebrate Vanderbilt as an American icon.” Tulsa World
“Stiles brings the Commodore, warts and all, to life in this new study, which is at once up-to-date in scholarly terms, analytically incisive, and lucidly written.” Raleigh News and Observer
“Sweeping…[A] magisterial, exemplary work…[that] offers entry into the storm-tossed world of our current tycoons and the rough waters they have piloted us into.” American History Magazine

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: T. J. Stiles

Author Bio: T. J. Stiles

T. J. Stiles has held the Gilder Lehrman Fellowship in American History at the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library, taught at Columbia University, and served as adviser for the PBS series The American Experience. His first book, Jesse James: Last Rebel of the Civil War, won the Ambassador Book Award and the Peter Seaborg Award for Civil War Scholarship, and was a New York Times Notable Book. The First Tycoon won the National Book Award in 2009. He has written for the New York Times Book Review, Salon.com, Smithsonian, and the Los Angeles Times. He lives in San Francisco.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download
Runtime: 28.76
Audience: Adult
Language: English