For the month of March, the group will be reading and discussing “Vanderbilt: The Rise and Fall of an American Dynasty” by Anderson Cooper. See summary below. To be connected with the group’s coordinator, email email@example.com. New members are always welcome! The Monday Morning Book Club meets in the Picker Room of the Camden Public Library on the 4th Monday of each month at 10:00 am.
Summary: 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 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.