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The Astors: 1763-1992: Landscape with Millionaires Hardcover – September, 1993

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Wilson ( Rothschild: A Story of Wealth and Power ) here offers another saga of money and power, tracing the Astor dynasty in a heavily footnoted and densely written study. John Jacob Astor (1763-1848), a German immigrant to the U.S., established his fortune in real estate and the fur trade. Investments by his heirs increased the family's holdings, and another branch of the Astors was founded in England, when William Waldorf Astor (1848-1919) emigrated and became a British subject. Wilson, who had access to the family's private papers, attempts, with little success, to establish that the early Astors were not slumlords, and he depicts Nancy Astor (1879-1964), who was reputed to be a Nazi sympathizer, as an innocent victim of the leftist press. Wilson's lack of objectivity and overly sympathetic attitude towards the Astors is a serious detraction from his book. Photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Astor is a legendary name in the United States and England, linked with the rise of Manhattan, the obscenely wealthy entrepreneurs of the 19th century, and European politics and the Profumo Affair. However, modern biographical treatment of the family has been lacking. English author Wilson offers a revisionist work designed to rescue the American Astors from their reputation as robber barons and to show the importance of the family in power and politics on both sides of the Atlantic. In this Wilson succeeds overwhelmingly, supplying an insider's saga crisply written with glowing admiration, as in his similarly seductive Rothschild : A Story of Wealth and Power (A. Deutsch, 1988). Most academic and larger public libraries interested in scholarly studies of modern dynasties and glittering society should add this to their collections.
- Susan E. Parker, Harvard Law Sch. Lib.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 439 pages
  • Publisher: St Martins Pr; 1st U.S. ed edition (September 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312097441
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312097448
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,786,571 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Derek Wilson is a leading historian of the Tudor period whose acclaimed works include: 'Henry VIII: Reformer and Tyrant', 'The English Reformation: How England was transformed by the Tudors', 'After the Storm: The Life and Legacy of Martin Luther', 'Uncrowned Kings of England: The Black Legend of the Dudleys' and biographies of Thomas Walsingham, the Earl of Leicester, Hans Holbein and Thomas More. He is currently working on 'Mrs Luther's Sisters: What Women did for the Reformation and the Reformation did for Women'.

His current fiction writing, under the name D.K. Wilson, is a series of mid-Tudor whodunits, 'The First Horseman' and 'The Traitor's Mark', featuring London goldsmith Thomas Treviot.

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By F. Monroig on November 20, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you like the history of old New York City and famous families, you will love this bio.
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