A full century before Martha Stewart, Oprah, and Madonna became icons, generations before women swept through Wall Street, and decades before they even had the right to vote, there was Hetty Green, America's richest woman, who stood alone among the roguish giants of the Gilded Age as the first lady of capitalism and is remembered as the Witch of Wall Street.
At the time of her death in 1916, Hetty Green's personal fortune was estimated at $100 million ($1.6 billion today), and the financial empire she built on real estate and railroads rivaled that of Andrew Carnegie, Jay Gould, J. P. Morgan, John D. Rockefeller, and some of the nation's biggest banks. Today, Hetty Green ranks near the top of America's list of greatest financiers, in company with Microsoft founder Bill Gates and billionaire-investor Warren Buffett. But in history books she has remained merely a footnote, a miser and an eccentric, whose character flaws and personal choices unjustly overshadowed her remarkable accomplishments on the fierce battlefield of American industry and commerce.
In Hetty, Charles Slack reexamines the life, work, and conflicted legacy of the exceptionally resourceful, ruthless, and inimitable woman who turned a comfortable inheritance into a fortune through instinct, courage, cunning, greed, and determination to succeed at a man's game on her own terms: from her childhood in the Quaker community of New Bedford, Massachusetts, where she learned about business by reading financial papers to her father, to the battle over her inheritance that was one of the most controversial legal cases of her time; from her collisions with railroad magnate Collis Huntington to her rescue of New York City from financial ruin.
Looking well beyond the lore and historical prejudices, Charles Slack presents a full portrait of a true American original, a female Citizen Kane who, having turned away from the conventions of her time, as a woman, a wife, a mother, and a mogul, led a life of a different sort, with occasionally tragic results, becoming both a hero and a victim of her era. Above all, it is a story of an uncompromising, larger-than-life, flawed woman who ruled a vast financial empire but was known, simply, as Hetty.
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Charles Slack is the author of Noble Obsession: Charles Goodyear, Thomas Hancock, and the Race to Unlock the Greatest Industrial Secret of the Nineteenth Century, named one of the New York Public Library's twenty-five "Books to Remember" for 2002, and Blue Fairways: Three Months, Sixty Courses, No Mulligans. His writing has appeared in many national magazines. He lives in Connecticut with his wife, Barbara, and their daughters, Natalie and Caroline.From Booklist:
Hetty Green (1835-1916) was the only woman to make her mark in the financial markets during the Guilded Age of the late 1800s. She parlayed an inheritance of $500,000 into $100 million ($2.5 billion in current money), amassing fortunes in U.S. bonds and real estate through impeccable timing. Immortalized in the Guinness Book of World Records as the "world's greatest miser," she kept her family living in modest tenements, dressed in drab clothes, and was a notorious penny-pincher. Dubbed the "Witch of Wall Street," she was widely believed to live an unhappy existence despite her riches. Slack's account reveals a much more multidimensional character than Green was popularly believed to be; yes, she was eccentric, but her wry wit and colorful personality bring humor and pathos to this story. She was unfairly vilified because of her sex, and readers cannot help from cheering for her at every turn. David Siegfried
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Book Description Henry Holt, 1999. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. NEW. Bookseller Inventory # 16MARBB0303
Book Description Ecco, 2004. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX006054256X
Book Description Ecco, 2004. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P11006054256X
Book Description Ecco. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 006054256X New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW7.0858167
Book Description Ecco, 2004. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M006054256X