THE ASTORS by Harvey O'Connor


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Another biography of one of America's wealthy families, both a voluminous and vigorous piece of work, showing neither fear nor favor towards his subjects. The founder of the Astor dynasty, John Jacob, in his rise from fur trader to money monopolist, comes closest to deserving fame as a factor in our history, and as a personality. His descendants were famous chiefly as possessors of fabulous fortunes. The third generation achieved social prominence, and then the line declined, with John Jacob IV, author of Buck Rogers pseudo-scientific tales, who redeemed a somewhat shoddy reputation when he went down on the Titanic, and today's Vincent, with a taste for speed and gadgets. Not a pretty picture of a family that misused the opportunity given them by their wealth. Well written.

Pub Date: April 14th, 1941
Publisher: Knopf