Faculty Book: Thomas Kessner
Capital City: New York and the Men Behind America's Rise to Economic Dominance, 1860-1900
(Simon & Schuster, 2003; 416 pp.)
Thomas Kessner, a faculty member of the Ph.D. Program in History tells the dramatic story of New York's transformation from port city to financial capital of the world in the course of a generation. "No succeeding generation enjoyed the economic power, the open political atmosphere, and the shaping influence available to this group of capitalists," Kessner writes. During this period, money accumulated in New York, as a banking culture emerged, and ambitious men were drawn to the city to make enormous fortunes. Kessner's colorful, epic narrative profiles such figures as J. P. Morgan, Andrew Carnegie, and John D. Rockefeller, who forged a brave and ruthless new brand of corporate capitalism. In Capital City, Kessner describes the competitive climate that led to New York—rather than Boston, Philadelphia, or any other northern city—becoming the global financial center.
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Submitted on: APR 1, 2003