Money has never made man happy, nor will it, there is nothing in its nature to produce happiness. The more of it one has the more one wants.
( Benjamin Franklin)
The very name Vanderbilt is synonymous with the Gilded Age. The family patriarch, "the Commodore,” built a fortune that made him the world's richest man by 1877. Yet, less than fifty years after his death, no Vanderbilt was counted among the world's richest people.
I love books on the gilded age and was delighted to get my hands on a copy of this one as it is a very detailed account of the fall of the House of Vanderbilt. I had visited Newport some years ago and did a tour of some of the Mansions and the Marble House and the Breakers were among them which were built by the Vanderbilt family.
I really enjoyed the read and first third of the book deals with " The commodore" and how he managed to build his fortune and the remainder of the book focus on the his decedents and how they managed to squander millions.
The book is very well researched and written wih a numerous photographs, notes, bibliography and Index.
I loved reading about The Commodore (Cornelius Vanderbilt) and how he built up his fortune to make him the world's richest man by 1877. The book is very detailed and we are introduced to several key members of the Vanderbilt family and learn about their marriages how they squandered the fortune that Commodore built up.
By the end of the book I was exhausted reading about the opulence and the dreadful waste and greed of this family. The book does become quite repetitive and I think it could have been slimmed way down by at least 100 pages and it would have had much more an impact on me.
Having said that I did enjoy the read and although it was a bit of slog it is certainly interesting and satisfied my curiosity about the Vanderbilt family.