1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 9 October 2014
Packed full of interesting anecdotes and written in compelling prose, Wyn Derbyshire's 'Six Tycoons' is a joy to read, full of fascinating facts and engaging stories, from the founding of Astoria to Henry Ford's peace mission, from the Erie Railroad Wars to Rockefeller's consolidation of the oil industry. You won't find a better compilation of short biographies of these six titans of the business world. A real page turner, I found it difficult to put down and am already looking forward to the sequel.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Wyn Derbyshire's book gives us any fascinating snap shot of the lives of six of the great names of American capitalism. 100 years and more after their heyday, the names of Carnegie, Vanderbilt, Rockefeller, Ford, Kennedy and Astor are still familiar, emphasising the powerful influence they have had, both directly on business and on popular culture.
In this well researched and eminently readable book we get an insight into how they rose to prominence and the effect they had on those around them. Particularly interesting is how some of them changed over the careers, from being ruthlessly self-serving to trying to shape how posterity would remember them.
There are lessons here for today's billionaires such as Bill Gates. For the rest of us it is a window into another world, with the added bonus of a reminder that banking crises, misleading accounting and sharp business practice are nothing new.