New York Times bestselling author and journalist Anderson Cooper teams with New York Times bestselling historian and novelist Katherine Howe to chronicle the rise and fall of a legendary American dynasty—his mother’s family, the Vanderbilts.

When eleven-year-old Cornelius Vanderbilt began to work on his father’s small boat ferrying supplies in New York Harbor at the beginning of the nineteenth century, no one could have imagined that one day he would, through ruthlessness, cunning, and a pathological desire for money, build two empires—one in shipping and another in railroads—that would make him the richest man in America. His staggering fortune was fought over by his heirs after his death in 1877, sowing familial discord that would never fully heal. Though his son Billy doubled the money left by “the Commodore,” subsequent generations competed to find new and ever more extraordinary ways of spending it. By 2018, when the last Vanderbilt was forced out of The Breakers—the seventy-room summer estate in Newport, Rhode Island, that Cornelius’s grandson and namesake had built—the family would have been unrecognizable to the tycoon who started it all.

Now, the Commodore’s great-great-great-grandson Anderson Cooper, joins with historian Katherine Howe to explore the story of his legendary family and their outsized influence. Cooper and Howe breathe life into the ancestors who built the family’s empire, basked in the Commodore’s wealth, hosted lavish galas, and became synonymous with unfettered American capitalism and high society. Moving from the hardscrabble wharves of old Manhattan to the lavish drawing rooms of Gilded Age Fifth Avenue, from the ornate summer palaces of Newport to the courts of Europe, and all the way to modern-day New York, Cooper and Howe wryly recount the triumphs and tragedies of an American dynasty unlike any other.

Written with a unique insider’s viewpoint, this is a rollicking, quintessentially American history as remarkable as the family it so vividly captures.

Vanderbilt (Anderson Cooper & Katherine Howe) Book Discussions

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Anderson Cooper & Katherine Howe - Vanderbilt Book Reviews

VANDERBILTWell-written! Gave me so much imagination what it is like to be in New York during Glided Age and how it transformed New York now. Didn’t realize the influence from Vanderbilts almost everywhere in NYC. I have to admit that I am disappointed when the book had to end. I wish there are more chapters to read!.Score: 5/5

Would have liked more on....The Vanderbilts who made the empire rather than so much on the ones who blew it...but good!.Score: 4/5

A wonderful read.Everything you always wanted to know about the lives of the Vanderbilt family told in a fascinating way..Score: 5/5

Intriguing look Intriguing glimpse into the intimate lives of the wealthy elite.I enjoyed Anderson Coopers personal insight into the characters who built the industrial backbone of America, humanizing them and their jealousies and extravagance..Score: 4/5

AN EXCELLANT READA concise history of the Vanderbuilt family. Anderson describes their lifestyles in a way that the reader lives it too. I didnt want to put the book down. Also, Anderson’s love for his mother did not stop him from revealing her many shortcomings. Excellent..Score: 5/5

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