On The Deal Maker: How William C. Durant Made General Motors: "A well-written biography."-New York Times On Stanwyck: The Life and Times of Barbara Stanwyck: "Madsen's admirably researched, insightful portrait of her aloof nature . . . reveals she was always torn between her wish to give of herself and her need to be in control."-Christian Science Monitor On Chanel: A Woman of Her Own: "Fascinating . . . . Takes the reader behind the coromandel veneers of Chanel's life."-New York Times Book Review "Carefully knits together the complex pattern of Chanel's complicated existence. It's not an easy task."-Toronto Globe and Mail On Gloria and Joe: "Axel Madsen finally gives the public a fascinating chronicle of the romance that could have ruined more than two careers."-Dallas Morning News On Cousteau: "Both critical and understanding. And it is exceptionally readable. Readers are well advised to take the plunge."-Chicago Tribune On Malraux: "Will stand as the best of more than a dozen books about Malraux in print."-Kansas City Star
This biography analyzes Astor's rise from poor German immigrant in 1784 to the first modern millionaire--he was one before the term "millionaire" entered the English language. Many consider him to be the fourth wealthiest American of all times. After his death in 1848, the public began to discuss the "responsibility" of a millionaire. Some argued that he must have been greedy and cold. Some voices demanded that he should have given all his money back to the United States. More liberal thinkers praised him for his genius and vision. This biography presents a balanced picture. Astor was the founder of the first American settlement on the Pacific (Astoria, Oregon) and of New York's fine hotels the Astor House and the Waldorf-Astoria, as well as a developer of the American West and a fur trader. Many American cities and sites are named after him. He donated the Astor Library to the city of New York (it became the first public library of the city), now part of the New York Public Library.
Some weeks later a dray drove up to the Astor store, then at 68 Pine Street, and delivered a number of very heavy little kegs which chinked faintly as they were rolled in through the door. "What on earth are those, Jacob?" Sarah demanded when she happened in during the afternoon. "Der fruits of our East India pass," he answered, his deep-set eyes twinkling merrily. "Money?" He nodded. "Ho-how much?" "Fifty-five t'ousan' dollar." "Jacob!" she gasped. And well she might. It was as rich a coup as he ever achieved. -from "Fur and Tea" New Yorkers can't escape the name Astor: it graces theaters, hotels, street names, and even an entire Queens neighborhood. This delightful biography of the "landlord of New York" explains how John Jacob Astor, who arrived in the city a poor immigrant in 1784, created such a fortune-in real estate, fur, and trade with China-not only for himself but for the city and nation around him that his influence could not be denied. Author Arthur D. Howden Smith was, in the early years of the 20th century, a tremendously popular author of pulp fiction on a par with E.E. "Doc" Smith and Edgar Rice Burroughs. And the same boisterous enthusiasm that made his adventure tales of pirates and Vikings so riproaring readable bursts forth from this classic biography as well. Also available from Cosimo Classics: Howden Smith's Commodore Vanderbilt: An Epic of American Achievement. ARTHUR DOUGLAS HOWDEN SMITH (1887-1945) was an enormously prolific and diverse writer, penning numerous short stories, biographies, and business studies, but he is best remembered for his many pulp novels, including Porto Bello Gold (a prequel to Treasure Island), The Dead Go Overside, The Doom Trail, Swain's Saga, and others.