The Tycoons: How Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, Jay Gould, and J. P. Morgan Invented the American Supereconomy

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"Makes a reader feel like a time traveler plopped down among men who were by turns vicious and visionary."—The Christian Science Monitor

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.

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About the author

Charles R. Morris is the author of eight previous books, including American Catholic and Money, Greed, and Risk. He is a lawyer and former banker, and was most recently president of a financial services software company. A regular contributor to the Los Angeles Times, he has also written for The Wall Street Journal and The Atlantic Monthly. He lives in New York City.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Macmillan
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Published on
Oct 3, 2006
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Pages
400
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ISBN
9781429935029
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Business
Business & Economics / Corporate & Business History
History / United States / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Here is a who's who of business, thirty-one profiles of inventors, financiers, organizers, motivators, and gurus--a vivid, informative look at the history of management as seen through the lives of its most influential figures. We meet Eli Whitney, creator of the cotton gin and father of the machine tool industry, who failed to profit from his genius; Thomas Edison, who once vowed he would never invent anything he couldn't sell; and Andrew Carnegie, who applied the railroad management system to the steel industry, with spectacular results. There are profiles of such railroad giants as James J. Hill and Edward H. Harriman, and colorful portraits of Samuel Morse and Graham Bell, the two men who launched the communications industry in the U.S. The great innovators of management and organization are here as well, including the founders of systematic management, Frederick W. Taylor and Frank and Lillian Gilbreth. There's an intriguing side-by-side look at William C. Durant, builder of General Motors, a visionary but a weak manager and organizer, and Alfred P. Sloan, who gave GM the structure it needed, and provided the model for all large, multiproduct firms to come. And there are thought-provoking profiles of motivational experts Elton Mayo and Abraham Maslow; quality advocates W. Edwards Deming and Joseph Moses Juran; Taiichi Ohno, inventor of just-in-time manufacturing; and finally, Peter Drucker, the most influential management thinker of our time. This is the distilled essence of management genius, a stimulating and, at times, inspiring look at the pioneers who shaped how we do business today.
Previously published as The Trillion Dollar Meltdown

Now fully updated with the latest financial developments, this is the bestselling book that briefly and brilliantly explains how we got into the economic mess that is the Credit Crunch. With the housing markets unravelling daily and distress signals flying throughout the rest of the economy, there is little doubt that we are facing a fierce recession. In crisp, gripping prose, Charles R. Morris shows how got into this mess. He explains the arcane financial instruments, the chicanery, the policy misjudgments, the dogmas, and the delusions that created the greatest credit bubble in world history. Paul Volcker slew the inflation dragon in the early 1980s, and set the stage for the high performance economy of the 1980s and 1990s. But Wall Street's prosperity soon tilted into gross excess. The astronomical leverage at major banks and their hedge fund and private equity clients led to massive disruption in global markets. A quarter century of free-market zealotry that extolled asset stripping, abusive lending, and hedge fund secrecy will go down in flames with it. Continued denial and concealment could cause the crisis to stretch out for years, but financial and government leaders are still downplaying the problem. The required restructuring will be at least as painful as the very difficult period of 1979-1983. The Two Trillion-Dollar Meltdown, updated to include the latest financial developments, is indispensable to understanding how the world economy has been put on the brink.

NATIONAL BESTSELLER

A century ago, J. Pierpont Morgan bestrode the financial world like a colossus. The organizing force behind General Electric, U.S. Steel, and vast railroad empires, he served for decades as America's unofficial central banker: a few months after he died in 1913, the Federal Reserve replaced the private system he had devised. An early supporter of Thomas Edison and Andrew Carnegie, the confidant (and rival) of Theodore Roosevelt, England's Edward VII, and Germany's Kaiser Wilhelm, and the companion of several fascinating women, Morgan shaped his world and ours in countless ways. Yet since his death he has remained a mysterious figure, celebrated as a hero of industrial progress and vilified as a rapacious robber baron.

Here for the first time is the biography Morgan has long deserved--a magisterial, full-scale portrait of the man without whose dominating will American finance and culture would be very different from what they are today. In this beautifully crafted account, drawn from more than a decade's work in newly available archives, the award-winning biographer Jean Strouse animates Morgan's life and times to reveal the entirely human character behind the often terrifying visage.
        
Morgan brings eye-opening perspectives to the role the banker played in the emerging U.S. economy as he raised capital in Europe, reorganized bankrupt railroads, stabilized markets in times of crisis, and set up many of the corporate and financial structures we take for granted. And surprising new stories introduce us in vivid detail to Morgan's childhood in Hartford and Boston, his schooling in Switzerland and Germany, the start of his career in New York--as well as to his relations with his esteemed and exacting father, with his adored first and difficult second wives, with his children, partners, business associates, female consorts, and friends. Morgan had a second major career as a collector of art, stocking America with visual and literary treasures of the past. Called by one contemporary expert "the greatest collector of our time," he spent much of his energy and more than half of his fortune on art.                

Strouse's extraordinary biography gives dramatic new dimension not only to Morgan but to the culture, political struggles, and social conflicts of America's momentous Gilded Age.

NOTE: This edition does not include photographs.

Praise for Morgan
 
“Magnificent . . . the fullest and most revealing look at this remarkable, complex man that we are likely to get.”—The Wall Street Journal
 
“A masterpiece . . . No one else has told the tale of Pierpont Morgan in the detail, depth, and understanding of Jean Strouse.”—Robert Heilbroner, Los Angeles Times Book Review
 
“It is hard to imagine a biographer coming any closer to perfection.”—St. Louis Post-Dispatch
 
“Strouse is in full command of Pierpont Morgan’s personal life, his financial operations, his collecting, and his benefactions, and presents a rich, vivid picture of the background against which they took place. . . . A magnificent biography.”—The New York Review of Books
 
“With uncommon intelligence, maturity, and psychological insight, Morgan: American Financier is that rare masterpiece biography that enables us to penetrate the soul of a complex human being.”—The Philadelphia Inquirer
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