A Tale of Money, Taste, and Power in Twentieth-Century America
Author: Robert F. Dalzell,Lee Baldwin Dalzell
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
What it was like to be as rich as Rockefeller: How a house gave shape and meaning to three generations of an iconic American family One hundred years ago America's richest man established a dynastic seat, the granite-clad Kykuit, high above the Hudson River. Though George Vanderbilt's 255-room Biltmore had recently put the American country house on the money map, John D. Rockefeller, who detested ostentation, had something simple in mind—at least until his son John Jr. and his charming wife, Abby, injected a spirit of noblesse oblige into the equation. Built to honor the senior Rockefeller, the house would also become the place above all others that anchored the family's memories. There could never be a better picture of the Rockefellers and their ambitions for the enormous fortune Senior had settled upon them. The authors take us inside the house and the family to observe a century of building and rebuilding—the ebb and flow of events and family feelings, the architecture and furnishings, the art and the gardens. A complex saga, The House the Rockefellers Built is alive with surprising twists and turns that reveal the tastes of a large family often sharply at odds with one another about the fortune the house symbolized.