America has never known a royal family, but the Vanderbilts came closer to it than any family ever has. Told by CNN news anchor and journalist Anderson Cooper, and novelist Katherine Howe, Vanderbilt: The Rise and Fall of an American Dynasty is the tale of the frittering away of the greatest American fortune. Cooper and Howe share the history of the Vanderbilt family beginning with Cornelius Vanderbilt who built his wealth in railroads in the 19th century. The book depicts the Vanderbilts as a larger than life force that amassed and squandered colossal fortunes over the generations. Written with depth and honesty, Vanderbilt gives a fresh viewpoint of the American dynasty and the American myth of success.
If you enjoy the history of New York City or have an interest in learning more about the real-life socialites who inspired the Gilded Age, Vanderbilt is worth checking out.