26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Towers of Gold: How One Jewish Immigrant Named Isaias Hellman Created California (Hardcover)
I was hooked from the introduction when the writer describes discovering boxes of her great-great grandfather's letters and papers and realizing she had a story to tell. From that great beginning, this book continued to hold me in its vivid, dramatic rendering of California history and of this man, a true tycoon. Until this book, I had not heard of Hellman , but now I see his influence regularly in my life in California, starting with Wells Fargo banks. Hellman not only started this bank, but the author tells an amazing--and chillingly timely--account of how Hellman stopped an 1893 bank panic singlehandedly. If you're interested in California history (imagine a time when the streets of LA were dirt, as were the floors in many homes), immigrant history, Jewish history, and a juicy story of wheeling-dealing tycoons, you couldn't find a better scribe than this writer and her elegant, exciting, and well-told history.