A thrilling story of glamour and avarice.
By Anderson Cooper ‧ RELEASE DATE: Sept. 19, 2023
Cooper and Howe explore the lives of the rich and infamous Astors in their new book. Beginning with John Jacob Astor, a German immigrant who arrived in America in 1783, the authors trace the family’s rise to wealth and power. By 1798, John Jacob had amassed a fortune of $250,000, a sum that was enough to live comfortably for a year in Manhattan. He then shifted his focus to real estate, buying up cheap parcels near the waterfront. The Astors became ruthless landlords and built mansions on their properties. The authors also profile the colorful family members, some of whom devoted themselves to the Astor business, while others preferred horse racing and yachts. William Waldorf Astor moved to England and renounced his citizenship, while John Astor IV, known as Jack, perished on the Titanic. The Waldorf-Astoria Hotel and the Astor Hotel were both popular hangouts for the theater crowd in Times Square. The authors also discuss the wives of the Astors, from Caroline Astor, who defined and dominated New York society during the Gilded Age, to Brooke Astor, whose son Anthony was convicted of defrauding her. Cooper and Howe’s book provides an entertaining and brisk history of the Astors, a storied dynasty that left an indelible mark on New York.
Pub Date: Sept. 19, 2023
Page Count: 336
Review Posted Online: yesterday
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2023