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Extended Audio Sample Mellon: An American Life, by David Cannadine Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (91 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: David Cannadine Narrator: John H. Mayer Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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A landmark work from one of the preeminent historians of our time: the first published biography of Andrew W. Mellon, the American colossus who bestrode the worlds of industry, government, and philanthropy, leaving his transformative stamp on each.

Andrew Mellon, one of America’s greatest financiers, built a legendary personal fortune from banking to oil to aluminum manufacture, tracking America’s course to global economic supremacy. As treasury secretary under Presidents Harding, Coolidge, and finally Hoover, Mellon made the federal government run like a business—prefiguring the public official as CEO. He would be hailed as the architect of the Roaring Twenties, but, staying too long, would be blamed for the Great Depression, eventually to find himself a broken idol. Collecting art was his only nonprofessional gratification and his great gift to the American people, the National Gallery of Art, remains his most tangible legacy.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A commanding biography, unsparing in revelation, lively in its writing, rigorous in its scholarship, astute in its judgments, and altogether a major contribution to American history.”

    Harold Evans, New York Times bestselling author of The American Century and They Made America

  • “A fascinating biography…A sprawling work for a sprawling life.”

    New York Times

  • “Absorbing…Cannadine writes like a storyteller, and the book often reads as compulsively as one of those immense fictional sagas that weigh down the bestseller lists. Sin and redemption are always close to the center of those family tales, and so they are in Mellon.”

    New York Review of Books

  • “Professor Cannadine brings compassion and fairness to his subject…Cannadine’s recounting of Mellon’s public career make this a worthy contribution to our understanding of the man and his era.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “Cannadine tackles every aspect of a towering American figure…This is a valuable, comprehensive look at an important American life.”

    Publishers Weekly

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Ed Hashek | 6/23/2013

    " This was an amazing book - extremely well written, detailed, and researched. A great view of American history, politics, art and the Mellon family. The events of today (polarized political camps) is also demonstrated during the 20's and 30's of the last century. This is not a fast read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Calvin | 1/21/2012

    " Fascinating read-the author had enough of his personal letters to give the reader a true sense of the man. Stalled at the end when it covered his family after his death, as frankly they were as fascinating. But all in all well worth the time spent. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Barbara | 11/26/2011

    " Reading this book reminds me of Adam's texted message from the tap dance show. Good thing I do not currently have any shoelaces. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Les | 4/20/2011

    " Very long but a great history of the entire family, beginning with Thomas Mellon (The Judge); really showing how they played a major role in American history. "

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