THE GOULDS: A Social History by Edwin P. Hoyt

THE GOULDS: A Social History

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A long book because progenitor Jason Gould had a passel of kids and fixed up a family trust that kept their names in the news even if they weren't in society's top drawer. It's light because the author, drawing on the discredited conventions of juvenile biography, starts with a flashback of fiction. ""Jason Gould stood in the middle of the cornfield leaning on the long, sweat-worn handle of his hoe, thinking"" and so on through a dialogue-laden chapter about how this fourteen-year-old got away from the farm to school in 1850. After he learned bookkeeping, that boy never looked back. Even then, he cheated a lot--or at least took mean advantages, which resulted in a great untaxed fortune in railroads and a hostile press. As these latter days come up in chronological sequence, Mr. Hoyt abandons invention and sticks to the record, as a social historian should, following the next generation through father's money. George, the fortune's caretaker, lived high on Long Island; daughter Anna married Boni de Castellane who went through her money like a hot rake through cold bacon grease; daughter Helen prayed a lot and did good works; son Frank's hobby was a small business enterprise--a private brothel; but son Edwin was a good, quiet sort. The grandchildren took to marrying into the working classes--and it all adds up to an interesting gossip about the Got Rocks Goulds for the comfortably, if comparatively, disadvantaged taxpayers of today.

Pub Date: June 2nd, 1969
Publisher: Weybright & Talley