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Great Estates Written by William G. Scheller
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Great Estates: The Lifestyles and Homes of American Magnates

Written by William G. Scheller

  • February 3, 2009
  • Hardcover
  • House & Home - Decorating
  • Universe
  • 10-5/8 x 12-1/2
  • $35.00
  • $40.00
  • 978-0-7893-9959-5

About This Book

Skillfully written and richly illustrated, Barons of Business looks into the lives and fortunes of the ambitious individuals like Calvin Coolidge, who believed that "the business of America is business." Beginning with the colonial era, when trade was overtaking landholding as a way to get rich, Barons of Business follows the restless careers of our most brilliant and driven merchants, industrialists, and financiers as they master a new economic world of textiles, railroads, oil, and steel. With the twentieth century comes fresh opportunities: automobiles, motion pictures, broadcasting, publishing and retailing on a massive scale, and the vast horizon of high technology. Meet John Hancock, colonial Boston’s "limousine liberal," and learn how John Jacob Astor parlayed success in the fur trade into status as Manhattan’s master landlord and richest man in America—only to be eclipsed by Cornelius Vanderbilt, who leaped like a nimble Croesus from steamships to railroads. Rockefeller, Carnegie, and Ford are here, as well as J.P. Morgan, William Randolph Hearst, Howard Hughes, Malcolm Forbes, Warren Buffett, Steven Spielberg, and Bill Gates. Barons of Business brings together more than forty individuals for whom the business of America was indeed business—and who excelled at it beyond anyone’s dreams. Except, perhaps, their own.

About the Author

William G. Scheller is the author or co-author of more than twenty books, including several written in connection with the National Geographic Society. He has written extensively on railroad history, the environment, and alternative energy.

Author Bookshelf


  • "Titans of business have always been at the forefront of American mythology however, in both good times and bad, and it's worth putting today's crop of nabobs in their proper historical context....The oversized, lavishly illustrated volume celebrates the history of 40 of America's true barons of business, from the 1700s through this year's Forbes list, and opens the door into their private palaces along the way."

    "My heart started to race, my eyesight flickered and I got blood-rush dizzy as I leafed through Jeffrey Hyland's The Legendary Estates of Beverly Hills. Hyland unlocks the gates of some of the lushest, most lingering-gaze inspiring homes on the planet." ~The New York Post

    "This amazingly researched and illustrated history of 50 incredible estates includes a who’s who of notables involved, as well as an authoritative look at the convergence of architectural styles (and audacity) that are as integral to Southern California as palm trees." ~Book Page

    "High in the canyons above Los Angeles, the great estates of Beverly Hills have fascinated and enthralled those who have been lucky enough to visit them. But very few have ever been photographed in any detail. That is, until now. Jeffrey Hyland was granted exclusive access [to] these extraordinary properties. Many have been magnificently restored and are a living memento of the golden age of Hollywood." ~The London Times
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