Publication Date: September 20, 2022
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#1 New York Times BestsellerNow in paperback, the bestselling, “incredible” (People) chronicle of the highs and lows of the Vanderbilt clan, told by one of its descendants, CNN anchor and journalist Anderson Cooper, and historian Katherine Howe.
When eleven-year-old Cornelius Vanderbilt began to work on his father’s small ferry boat in New York Harbor at the beginning of the nineteenth century, no one could have imagined that he would, through ruthlessness, cunning, and a pathological desire for money, build two empires that would make him the richest man in America. His staggering fortune was contested by his heirs after his death in 1877, sowing familial discord that would never fully heal. Though his son Billy doubled the money left by “the Commodore,” subsequent generations competed to find new and ever more extraordinary ways of spending it.By 2018, when the last Vanderbilt was forced out of The Breakers—the seventy-room summer estate in Newport, Rhode Island, that Cornelius’s grandson and namesake built—the family would have been unrecognizable to the tycoon who started it all.Now, the Commodore’s great-great-great-grandson Anderson Cooper joins with historian Katherine Howe to explore the story of his legendary ancestors, a family with outsized influence who would become synonymous with unfettered American capitalism and high society.Moving from the hardscrabble wharves of old Manhattan to the lavish drawing rooms of Gilded Age Fifth Avenue, from the ornate summer palaces of Newport to the courts of Europe, and all the way to contemporary New York, Vanderbilt wryly recounts the triumphs and tragedies of a unique American dynasty.
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