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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: Abridged 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. 

Following a boyhood in nineteenth-century Pittsburgh, Andrew Mellon overcame painful shyness to become one of America’s greatest financiers. Across an unusually diverse range of enterprises, he would build a legendary personal fortune, tracking America’s course to global economic supremacy. Personal happiness, however, eluded him. He had been bred to do one thing, and that he did with brilliant and innovative entrepreneurship.

Mellon’s wealth and name allowed him to dominate Pennsylvania politics, and under presidents Harding, Coolidge, and finally Hoover, he made the federal government run like a business. But this man of straightforward conservative politics was no politician. 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. 

The issues Andrew W. Mellon confronted–concerning government, business, influence, the individual and the public good–remain at the center of our national discourse to this day. Indeed, the positions he steadfastly held reemerged relatively intact with the Reagan revolution, having lain dormant since the New Deal. David Cannadine’s magisterial biography brings to life a towering, controversial figure, casting new light on our history and the evolution of our public values.

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Les | 12/10/2013

    " 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. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Ed Hashek | 4/21/2013

    " 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. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Barbara | 7/26/2011

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

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Calvin | 7/17/2011

    " 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. "

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