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Towers of Gold: How One Jewish Immigrant Named Isaias Hellman Created California Kindle Edition
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Dinkelspiel's a Hellman descendent (her family name appears on a prominent Stanford auditorium) and she keeps the story moving well enough -- no major digressions. Her writing style struck me as making everything a little duller than it could have been, but I'm not really sure why I came away with that feeling.
Certainly glad I read it, and I learned a lot. A solid four stars.
I really enjoy reading financial biographies like those
written by Chernow, Strouse, Nasaw, etc. I am pleased to say that Ms. Dinkelspiel's writing ranks right up there with theirs, but she managed to craft an in-depth portrait of her subject using half the pages that they normally do, this is quite a feat.
If you're into California or Banking history at all, this book is a must read! It's my pick for best book of 2008.