The modern American economy was the creation of four men: Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, Jay Gould, and J. P. Morgan. They were the giants of the Gilded Age, a moment of riotous growth that established America as the richest, most inventive, and most productive country on the planet.
Acclaimed author Charles R. Morris vividly brings the men and their times to life. The ruthlessly competitive Carnegie, the imperial Rockefeller, and the provocateur Gould were obsessed with progress, experiment, and speed. They were balanced by Morgan, the gentleman businessman, who fought, instead, for a global trust in American business. Through their antagonism and their verve, they built an industrial behemoth—and a country of middle-class consumers. The Tycoons tells the incredible story of how these four determined men wrenched the economy into the modern age, inventing a nation of full economic participation that could not have been imagined only a few decades earlier.
Being of the plantation class of eastern Tennessee, the Civil War changed the status of members of the Inman family. Shadrach W. Inman is an example of plantation owners across the southeast who, having lost their previous way of living and their wealth, turned to business. His brothers, William H. Inman and Walker P. Inman, were businessmen who returned to their lines of business following the war. Samuel M. Inman and John H. Inman, the two eldest sons of Shadrach, were Confederate soldiers that become two of the wealthiest men on the East Coast. Hugh T. Inman, youngest son of Shadrach, worked among the various family businesses with his father, uncles, and brothers, founding related businesses of his own. As a family unit, they were one of the most influential in Atlanta and in the South during the period. Their connections with other businessmen whom they knew from before the war and their prewar experience in merchandising and plantation management led to their becoming part of the elite in the New South. These connections are the central key to the success of the numerous Inman family business ventures: cotton, railroads, streetcars, insurance, banking, andreal estate. The Inmans' ability to build a number of successful companies led to their becoming prominent in the New South society with political influence and positions, Atlanta and Southern boosterism, which in turn led to various areas of philanthropy including area education, an orphanage, and the hospital.
In this engaging and compelling story, Tammy Galloway writes of one of Atlanta's -- and the New South's -- most important families from Reconstruction through the first half of the 20th century.
She brilliantly tells the story of her eccentric, fractured family; her 1980s childhood of bohemian neglect in the squalid attic of Rokeby, the family’s Hudson Valley Mansion; and her brave escape from the clan. Aldrich reaches back to the Gilded Age when the Astor legacy began to come undone, leaving the Aldrich branch of the family penniless and squabbling over what was left.
Illustrated with black-and-white photographs that bring this faded world into focus, The Astor Orphan is written with the grit of The Glass Castle and set amid the aristocratic decay of Grey Gardens.