empty mansions the mysterious life of huguette clark and the spending of a great american fortune

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Empty Mansions

Author : Bill Dedman
ISBN : 9780345534538
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 51. 88 MB
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A cousin of Huguette Clark and a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist trace the life of the reclusive American heiress against a backdrop of the now-infamous W. A. Clark family and include coverage of the internet sensation and elder-abuse investigation that occurred at the end of her life.

The Phantom Of Fifth Avenue

Author : Meryl Gordon
ISBN : 9781455512645
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 41. 77 MB
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Born in 1906, Huguette Clark grew up in her family's 121-room Beaux Arts mansion in New York and was one of the leading celebrities of her day. Her father William Andrews Clark, was a copper magnate, the second richest man in America, and not above bribing his way into the Senate. Huguette attended the coronation of King George V. And at twenty-two with a personal fortune of $50 million to her name, she married a Princeton man and childhood friend William MacDonald Gower. Two-years later the couple divorced. After a series of failed romances, Huguette began to withdraw from society--first living with her mother in a kind of Grey Gardens isolation then as a modern-day Miss Havisham, spending her days in a vast apartment overlooking Central Park, eating crackers and watching The Flintstones with only servants for company. All her money and all her real estate could not protect her in her later life from being manipulated by shady hangers-on and hospitals that were only too happy to admit (and bill) a healthy woman. But what happened to Huguette that turned a vivacious, young socialite into a recluse? And what was her life like inside that gilded, copper cage?

When The Astors Owned New York

Author : Justin Kaplan
ISBN : 1101218819
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 49. 63 MB
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In this marvelous anecdotal history, Justin Kaplan––Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer of Mark Twain––vividly brings to life a glittering, bygone age. Endowed with the largest private fortunes of their day, cousins John Jacob Astor IV and William Waldorf Astor vied for primacy in New York society, producing the grandest hotels ever seen in a marriage of ostentation and efficiency that transformed American social behavior. Kaplan exposes it all in exquisite detail, taking readers from the 1890s to the Roaring Twenties in a combination of biography, history, architectural appreciation, and pure reading pleasure

Fortune S Children

Author : Arthur T. Vanderbilt
ISBN : 9780688103866
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 24. 38 MB
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Vanderbilt: the very name signifies wealth. The family patriarch, "the Commodore," built up a fortune that made him the world's richest man by 1877. Yet, less than fifty years after the Commodore's death, one of his direct descendants died penniless, and no Vanderbilt was counted among the world's richest people. Fortune's Children tells the dramatic story of all the amazingly colorful spenders who dissipated such a vast inheritance.

Hetty

Author : Charles Slack
ISBN : 9780062038111
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 90. 95 MB
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When J. P. Morgan called a meeting of New York's financial leaders after the stock market crash of 1907, Hetty Green was the only woman in the room. The Guinness Book of World Records memorialized her as the World's Greatest Miser, and, indeed, this unlikely robber baron -- who parlayed a comfortable inheritance into a fortune that was worth about 1.6 billion in today's dollars -- was frugal to a fault. But in an age when women weren't even allowed to vote, never mind concern themselves with interest rates, she lived by her own rules. In Hetty, Charles Slack reexamines her life and legacy, giving us, at long last, a splendidly "nuanced portrait" (Newsweek) of one of the greatest -- and most eccentric -- financiers in American history. This P.S. edition features an extra 16 pages of insights into the book, including author interviews, recommended reading, and more.

740 Park

Author : Michael Gross
ISBN : 0307418766
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 34. 17 MB
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For seventy-five years, it’s been Manhattan’s richest apartment building, and one of the most lusted-after addresses in the world. One apartment had 37 rooms, 14 bathrooms, 43 closets, 11 working fireplaces, a private elevator, and his-and-hers saunas; another at one time had a live-in service staff of 16. To this day, it is steeped in the purest luxury, the kind most of us could only imagine, until now. The last great building to go up along New York’s Gold Coast, construction on 740 Park finished in 1930. Since then, 740 has been home to an ever-evolving cadre of our wealthiest and most powerful families, some of America’s (and the world’s) oldest money—the kind attached to names like Vanderbilt, Rockefeller, Bouvier, Chrysler, Niarchos, Houghton, and Harkness—and some whose names evoke the excesses of today’s monied elite: Kravis, Koch, Bronfman, Perelman, Steinberg, and Schwarzman. All along, the building has housed titans of industry, political power brokers, international royalty, fabulous scam-artists, and even the lowest scoundrels. The book begins with the tumultuous story of the building’s construction. Conceived in the bubbling financial, artistic, and social cauldron of 1920’s Manhattan, 740 Park rose to its dizzying heights as the stock market plunged in 1929—the building was in dire financial straits before the first apartments were sold. The builders include the architectural genius Rosario Candela, the scheming businessman James T. Lee (Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis’s grandfather), and a raft of financiers, many of whom were little more than white-collar crooks and grand-scale hustlers. Once finished, 740 became a magnet for the richest, oldest families in the country: the Brewsters, descendents of the leader of the Plymouth Colony; the socially-registered Bordens, Hoppins, Scovilles, Thornes, and Schermerhorns; and top executives of the Chase Bank, American Express, and U.S. Rubber. Outside the walls of 740 Park, these were the people shaping America culturally and economically. Within those walls, they were indulging in all of the Seven Deadly Sins. As the social climate evolved throughout the last century, so did 740 Park: after World War II, the building’s rulers eased their more restrictive policies and began allowing Jews (though not to this day African Americans) to reside within their hallowed walls. Nowadays, it is full to bursting with new money, people whose fortunes, though freshly-made, are large enough to buy their way in. At its core this book is a social history of the American rich, and how the locus of power and influence has shifted haltingly from old bloodlines to new money. But it’s also much more than that: filled with meaty, startling, often tragic stories of the people who lived behind 740’s walls, the book gives us an unprecedented access to worlds of wealth, privilege, and extraordinary folly that are usually hidden behind a scrim of money and influence. This is, truly, how the other half—or at least the other one hundredth of one percent—lives.

Crazy Rich

Author : Jerry Oppenheimer
ISBN : 9780312662110
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 63. 14 MB
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An unauthorized family portrait documents the private lives of the Johnson empire, discussing their high-profile affairs, their struggles with addiction and mental illness, and the obsessions of a dynasty ruler who abandoned his family in favor of his ideals.

House Of Outrageous Fortune

Author : Michael Gross
ISBN : 9781451666212
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 21. 30 MB
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“Michael Gross’s new book…packs [in] almost as many stories as there are apartments in the building. The Jackie Collins of real estate likes to map expressions of power, money and ego… Even more crammed with billionaires and their exploits than 740 Park” (Penelope Green, The New York Times). With two concierge-staffed lobbies, a walnut-lined library, a lavish screening room, a private sixty-seat restaurant offering residents room service, a health club complete with a seventy-foot swimming pool, penthouses that cost almost $100 million, and a tenant roster that’s a roll call of business page heroes and villains, Fifteen Central Park West is the most outrageously successful, insanely expensive, titanically tycoon-stuffed real estate development of the twenty-first century. In this “stunning” (CNN) and “deliciously detailed” (Booklist, starred review) New York Times bestseller, journalist Michael Gross turns his gimlet eye on the new-money wonderland that’s sprung up on the southwest rim of Central Park. Mixing an absorbing business epic with hilarious social comedy, Gross “takes another gossip-laden bite out of the upper crust” (Sam Roberts, The New York Times), which includes Denzel Washington, Sting, Norman Lear, top executives, and Russian and Chinese oligarchs, to name a few. And he recounts the legendary building’s inspired genesis, costly construction, and the flashy international lifestyle it has brought to a once benighted and socially déclassé Manhattan neighborhood. More than just an apartment building, 15CPW represents a massive paradigm shift in the lifestyle of New York’s rich and famous—and is a bellwether of the city’s changing social and financial landscape.

Mrs Astor Regrets

Author : Meryl Gordon
ISBN : 9780547348278
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 26. 98 MB
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A riveting look behind the gates of the house of Astor as a famous family falls apart in public The fate of Brooke Astor, the endearing philanthropist with the storied name, has generated worldwide headlines since her grandson Philip sued his father in 2006, alleging mistreatment of Brooke. And shortly after her death in 2007, Anthony Marshall, Mrs. Astor’s only child, was indicted on charges of looting her estate. Rarely has there been a story with such an appealing heroine, conjuring up a world so nearly forgotten: a realm of lavish wealth and secrets of the sort that have engaged Americans from the era of Edith Wharton to the more recent days of Truman Capote and Vanity Fair. New York journalist Meryl Gordon has interviewed not only the elite of Brooke Astor’s social circle, but also the large staff who cosseted and cared for Mrs. Astor during her declining years. The result is the behind-the-headlines story of the Astor empire’s unraveling, filled with never-before-reported scenes. This powerful, poignant saga takes the reader inside the gilded gates of an American dynasty to tell of three generations’ worth of longing and missed opportunities. Even in this territory of privilege, no riches can put things right once they’ve been torn asunder. Here is an American epic of the bonds of money, morality, and social position.

The Secret Rooms

Author : Catherine Bailey
ISBN : 9781101636749
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 57. 11 MB
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For fans of Downton Abbey, this New York Times bestseller is the enthralling true story of family secrets and aristocratic intrigue in the days before WWI After the Ninth Duke of Rutland, one of the wealthiest men in Britain, died alone in a cramped room in the servants’ quarters of Belvoir Castle on April 21, 1940, his son and heir ordered the room, which contained the Rutland family archives, sealed. Sixty years later, Catherine Bailey became the first historian given access. What she discovered was a mystery: The Duke had painstakingly erased three periods of his life from all family records—but why? As Bailey uncovers the answers, she also provides an intimate portrait of the very top of British society in the turbulent days leading up to World War I.

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