Commodore: The Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt

The latest from Renehan, author most recently of a much-praised biography of another titan of 19th-century business, Jay Gould, is a thorough look at Cornelius Vanderbilt (1794–1877), who rose from nothing to amass one of the great fortunes in American history (more than $158 billion in 2005 dollars) in the burgeoning steamship and railroad industries. A brilliant, vicious businessman with little education, manners or patience … [ Read more ]