Imatge de l'autor
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Sobre l'autor

T. J. Stiles received a B. A. in history from Carleton College and a M. A. and M.Phil. in European history from Columbia University. He is the author of Jesse James: Last Rebel of the Civil War, The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt, which won the Pulitzer Prize for biography in mostra'n més 2010, and Custer's Trials: A Life on the Frontier of a New America, which won Pulitzer Prize for history in 2016. (Bowker Author Biography) mostra'n menys
Crèdit de la imatge: By Larry D. Moore, CC BY-SA 3.0,


Obres de T. J. Stiles

Civil War Commanders (1995) — Editor — 44 exemplars
Founding Fathers (1999) 24 exemplars
Robber Barons and Radicals (1997) — Editor — 23 exemplars
The Colonizers (1998) 21 exemplars
The Citizen's Handbook (1993) 16 exemplars
Warriors and Pioneers (1996) 13 exemplars


Coneixement comú



Very detailed account of the Commodore's life and times. A bit too detailed for my interest, particularly the railways' stock dealings get very technical. The steam boat era was more interesting to me than the railroad part. But Stiles offers great context and insights into American history of the time
sunforsiberia | Hi ha 15 ressenyes més | Dec 28, 2023 |
Great historical contextualisation. I came for the bandit and left with intensive knowledge about the political landscape around the US civil war
sunforsiberia | Hi ha 7 ressenyes més | Dec 28, 2023 |
Alexander Hamilton, America’s first Treasury Secretary, is often credited with forming the nation’s new economic system. Not far behind him (or even beside him) sits Cornelius Vanderbilt. In modern times, his name is most associated with a university in Nashville, but his legacy touched many turning points of nineteenth-century America. In this biography, Stiles describes Vanderbilt’s story beginning with the waning years of the eighteenth century and continuing after the Civil War until railroads united the country.

A full examination of Vanderbilt’s life is beyond the scope of this essay because, well, there’s so much to his life. Stiles does an excellent job condensing the story into less than 1,000 pages. Everything from the formation of the corporation to the reach of steamboats and railroads, from inter-state commerce to the economic union of the American east and west, from the defeat of the Confederate rebellion to attempts to reunify the country – all these things were touched upon by this great man. He was the first of the big men in an era of big (and rich) men.

Stiles details each of these stories and sketches the personality of a difficult man. From his early years as a steamboat captain to later years as an economic giant, the portrait that emerges is one of financial acumen, strategic clarity, and determination. Stiles inspects the economic forces carefully – much more carefully than I am capable of – and shows how the American system of life was founded outside of government. His work in business helped unify the country’s economy, perhaps more than anyone else.

I read this book because I work at a medical center that bears the Vanderbilt name. Having gathered outlines of his life from prior history classes, I wanted to learn more about the life of this giant. Given his relative lack of formal education, his continual social and financial ascent is quite impressive. We can only hope that the huge gap between rich and poor in the Gilded Age never repeats itself, but a giant of business and transportation such as Vanderbilt should be appreciated even in our era of fiber-optic cables and the microchip.
… (més)
scottjpearson | Hi ha 15 ressenyes més | Aug 30, 2022 |
Another biography i started but just couldn't stay with. Read maybe 100 pages, but stopped. yes, the story is fascinating, important and well told. But i am never that interested in the person - but in the overall context (history) of the time. So, yes- there is context, but one is never quite sure if we are reading the history of this topic or just the narrow band of the person involved. Why limit to that band? what's the point? To get at the great man and their thoughts / influences i suppose, but i am always drifting on that point. All good well- but another example of why biography is not for me.… (més)
apende | Hi ha 15 ressenyes més | Jul 12, 2022 |



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