Monday, March 10, 2014

Hetty Green - the richest woman in America

The Richest Woman in America: Hetty Green in the gilded age  (M)
by Janet Wallach"Wallach chronicles the life of another extraordinarily successful, if unconventional, career woman, the legendary Hetty Green. Dubbed the Witch of Wall Street, this nineteenth-century capitalist parlayed her initial inheritance into a substantial fortune, famously eschewing the glamour and the excesses of the Gilded Age. Despite her shrewd investment acumen, her remarkable achievements were often overshadowed by her well-publicized eccentricities. As the mythology of her gratuitous frugality swelled, she was gleefully caricatured in newspapers and magazines as a miser of epic proportions. While she was a popular-culture icon for many of the wrong reasons, most journalists failed to acknowledge her blistering business savvy and the tremendous power she wielded in a male-dominated arena. Wallach does Green long-overdue service by providing an evenhanded account of her professional accomplishments and her personal peculiarities." - Booklist

Hetty: the genius and madness of America's first female tycoon (M)
by Charles Slack

"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." - Booklist

also consider: Rich : the outrageous fortune and misfortunes of the heirs of J. Paul Getty (M
by John Pearson

Howard Hughes: the untold story (M)
by Peter Harry Brown and Pat H. Broeske

Black Titan : A.G. Gaston and the making of a Black American millionaire (M)
by Carol Jenkins and Elizabeth Gardner Hines

The Rich and How They Got that Way : how the wealthiest people of all time : from Genghis Khan to Bill Gates : made their fortunes (M)
by Cynthia Crossen

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