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The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt UNABRIDGED


ASTA
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[amazonsearch]The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt[/amazonsearch]

 

I have just finished this (audio) book last night and its long but good.

Its the best book on the market in the 1900's century I have read.

This books also drives home that cash is king and how Vanderbilt's friends had 10 million but still went bankrupt leverage cuts both ways :D But we also learn that whenever there where a crises through the hard skin and nerve he always went ahead and became a lot richer after each crises.

 

Have some time on your hand and want to learn about the american markets and general business history of the 1900's century I recommended this book.     

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ASTA,

thank you very much for your review! I purchased it some time ago, but have not read it yet. After your suggestion, I will surely make it my next book!  :)

I love to study the ways of the greatest entrepreneurs of the past.

 

giofranchi

 

“As time goes on I get more and more convinced that the right method in investment is to put fairly large sums into enterprises which one thinks one knows something about and in the management of which one thoroughly believes. It is a mistake to think that one limits one’s risk by spreading too much between enterprises about which one knows little and has no reason for special confidence.” - John Maynard Keynes

 

 

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Yea have read about half off Titan but was over a year ago but will start again but long books are hard to stick to.

The Vanderbilt book is very long to but very informative but after like one month of this audio book I am ready for maybe something in the line of Freakonomics.     

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Yea have read about half off Titan but was over a year ago but will start again but long books are hard to stick to.

The Vanderbilt book is very long to but very informative but after like one month of this audio book I am ready for maybe something in the line of Freakonomics.   

 

I personally found Titan a fascinating read. Finished it in two days.

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I would recommend House of Morgan by Ron Chernow. Along with  Titan by the same author and The First Tycoon, these would make a very nice trinity that provides insight from three different perspectives on the same time period.

 

Check out the videos on You Tube, there are hour to two hour segments on many of them as well.

 

Vinod

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I would recommend House of Morgan by Ron Chernow. Along with  Titan by the same author and The First Tycoon, these would make a very nice trinity that provides insight from three different perspectives on the same time period.

 

Check out the videos on You Tube, there are hour to two hour segments on many of them as well.

 

Vinod

 

 

You need to throw in Andrew Carnegie as well.  Absolutely fascinating.

 

And he is very "OG" on American philanthropy -- leading by example and inspiring/imploring other wealthy to give.

 

We only hear about Buffett's "Giving Pledge", but check Carnegie's view on philanthropy via his Gospel of Wealth.  He was also a strong advocate of the first inheritance tax.  Once I read about Carnegie I began to wonder if Buffett was inspired by him.

 

However, in business it's a bit dirty -- no insider trading laws in Carnegie's time.  So he had connections to railroad executives who needed Carnegie's capital to partner with.  They'd buy up land in the middle of nowhere, have the railroad build a stop (and town there), and make an instant killing on the land development/sale.

 

Carnegie came to America in rags, literally.

 

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You need to throw in Andrew Carnegie as well.  Absolutely fascinating.

 

And he is very "OG" on American philanthropy -- leading by example and inspiring/imploring other wealthy to give.

 

We only hear about Buffett's "Giving Pledge", but check Carnegie's view on philanthropy via his Gospel of Wealth.  He was also a strong advocate of the first inheritance tax.  Once I read about Carnegie I began to wonder if Buffett was inspired by him.

 

However, in business it's a bit dirty -- no insider trading laws in Carnegie's time.  So he had connections to railroad executives who needed Carnegie's capital to partner with.  They'd buy up land in the middle of nowhere, have the railroad build a stop (and town there), and make an instant killing on the land development/sale.

 

Carnegie came to America in rags, literally.

 

Did not get around to reading about Carnegie. Thanks for the recommendation, I would add it to my reading list.

 

Vinod

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Guest deepValue

 

However, in business it's a bit dirty -- no insider trading laws in Carnegie's time.  So he had connections to railroad executives who needed Carnegie's capital to partner with.  They'd buy up land in the middle of nowhere, have the railroad build a stop (and town there), and make an instant killing on the land development/sale.

 

 

You're still allowed to purchase real estate on inside information. And highways are the new railroads.

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  • 1 month later...

Yesterday I read what is said to be one of the most famous letters in the history of American business.

After the discovery of treachery by some partners of his, Mr. Vanderbilt wrote:

 

Gentlemen: You have undertaken to cheat me. I won’t sue, for the law is too slow. I’ll ruin you. Yours truly, Cornelius Vanderbilt.

 

That magnificent son of a bi…!! ;D

 

giofranchi

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
Beyond all analysis of Vanderbilt's historical role, it is worth remembering that men willingly followed this difficult, profane titan, even at the risk of their own lives. It was not because he was generous or kind, but because he was a man of genuine prowess. No one, they knew, understood steamships better; no one, they knew, was more willing to face personal danger; no one, they knew, was truer to his word. Vanderbilt was many things, not all of them admirable, but he was never a phony. Hated, revered, resented, he always commanded respect, even from his enemies.

 

giofranchi

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Guest deepValue

Yesterday I read what is said to be one of the most famous letters in the history of American business.

After the discovery of treachery by some partners of his, Mr. Vanderbilt wrote:

 

Gentlemen: You have undertaken to cheat me. I won’t sue, for the law is too slow. I’ll ruin you. Yours truly, Cornelius Vanderbilt.

 

That magnificent son of a bi…!! ;D

 

giofranchi

 

As an enormously powerful but also taciturn man, Vanderbilt became one of the most misquoted individuals in the nineteenth century. These misquotes (and outright inventions) include comments about Jay Gould (“It never pays to kick a skunk”), the law (“Law? What do I care about the law? Ain’t I got the power?”), and his steamship rivals Charles Morgan and Cornelius Garrison (“Gentlemen: You have undertaken to cheat me. I won’t sue, for the law is too slow. I’ll ruin you.”). Contrary to legend, he had nothing to do with the invention of the potato chip.

 

Source: http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/v/cornelius_vanderbilt/index.html

 

I thought it was a good line, though, and I eagerly await the day that I can use it.

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Yesterday I read what is said to be one of the most famous letters in the history of American business.

After the discovery of treachery by some partners of his, Mr. Vanderbilt wrote:

 

Gentlemen: You have undertaken to cheat me. I won’t sue, for the law is too slow. I’ll ruin you. Yours truly, Cornelius Vanderbilt.

 

That magnificent son of a bi…!! ;D

 

giofranchi

 

As an enormously powerful but also taciturn man, Vanderbilt became one of the most misquoted individuals in the nineteenth century. These misquotes (and outright inventions) include comments about Jay Gould (“It never pays to kick a skunk”), the law (“Law? What do I care about the law? Ain’t I got the power?”), and his steamship rivals Charles Morgan and Cornelius Garrison (“Gentlemen: You have undertaken to cheat me. I won’t sue, for the law is too slow. I’ll ruin you.”). Contrary to legend, he had nothing to do with the invention of the potato chip.

 

Source: http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/v/cornelius_vanderbilt/index.html

 

I thought it was a good line, though, and I eagerly await the day that I can use it.

 

Yes! The author of the biography actually warns the reader that, despite all its popularity, the famous letter might never have been written by Mr. Vanderbilt!

 

Anyway… who really cares?!  ;D ;D

 

And by the way: "A mighty - and mighty confident - work... This is state-of-the-art biography." -- The New York Times

;)

 

giofranchi

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He did not think of his businesses as machinery; rather, he saw them as a military campaigns against his enemies. When he could not avoid the merely mechanical aspects of his enterprises he often expressed impatience; but when he was locked in combat ha paid attention to the tiniest detail. This helps explain why he regularly sold out his steamboat and steamship lines after only a year or two of competition: once he achieved victory, he lost interest. He devoted little time to the businesses that he did operate year after year, such as the Staten Island Ferry, which had attracted widespread complaints about its condition.

-- The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt

 

The great attention to the strategic aspects of business, rather than the tactics or operating aspects, is another trait Mr. Vanderbilt apparently shared with Mr. Buffett (and many other outstanding entrepreneurs throughout history).

 

giofranchi

 

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And he is very "OG" on American philanthropy -- leading by example and inspiring/imploring other wealthy to give.

 

He funded librarys in Winnipeg!

http://www.mhs.mb.ca/news/carnegielibrary.shtml

 

Go Jets GO!

 

It's really amazing how many were built with his funding 2,509 libraries!

 

There is even one in Fiji.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Carnegie_libraries_in_Africa,_the_Caribbean,_and_Oceania

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Carnegie_libraries_in_Canada

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Carnegie_libraries_in_Europe

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Carnegie_libraries_in_the_United_States

 

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  • 2 years later...

Thanks again for recommending this book. I found it to be very interesting from both a business and historical perspective. The steamboat and rail businesses were so interesting to learn about from the books perspective.

 

On a side note, I was amazed with how many kids Vanderbilt and his wife were able to produce.  Pretty impressive. :)

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