Great Estates. The Lifestyles and Homes of American MagnatesISBN: 978-0-7893-9959-5;
Skillfully written and richly illustrated, Barons of Business looks into the lives and fortunes of the ambitious individuals like Calvin Coolidge, who believed that the business of America is business. Beginning with the colonial era, when trade was overtaking landholding as a way to get rich, Barons of Business follows the restless careers of our most brilliant and driven merchants, industrialists, and financiers as they master a new economic world of textiles, railroads, oil, and steel. With the twentieth century comes fresh opportunities automobiles, motion pictures, broadcasting, publishing and retailing on a massive scale, and the vast horizon of high technology. Meet John Hancock, colonial Boston's limousine liberal, and learn how John Jacob Astor parlayed success in the fur trade into status as Manhattan's master landlord and richest man in America -- only to be eclipsed by Cornelius Vanderbilt, who leaped like a nimble Croesus from steamships to railroads. Rockefeller, Carnegie, and Ford are here, as well as J.P. Morgan, William Randolph Hearst, Howard Hughes, Malcolm Forbes, Warren Buffett, Steven Spielberg, and Bill Gates. Barons of Business brings together more than forty individuals for whom the business of America was indeed business--and who excelled at it beyond anyone's dreams. Except, perhaps, their own.