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Anderson Hays Cooper was born on June 3, 1967 in New York City. He is an American journalist, author, and television personality. He is the primary anchor of the CNN news show Anderson Cooper 360° and a major correspondent for 60 minutes. Cooper attended Yale University and graduated with a B. A. vis mere in political science in 1989. He later decided to pursue a career in journalism. He began his news career as a fact checker at Channel One but soon worked his way up to reporter by selling his home-made news segments. In 1995, Cooper became a correspondent for ABC News, eventually rising to the position of co-anchor on its overnight World News Now program on September 21, 1999. In 2000 he switched career paths, taking a job as the host of ABC's reality show The Mole. Cooper left The Mole after its second season to return to broadcast news. In 2001, he joined CNN. His first position at CNN was to anchor alongside Paula Zahn on American Morning. In 2002, he became CNN's weekend prime-time anchor. On September 8, 2003, he was made anchor of Anderson Cooper 360°. He has earned several Emmy Awards and a National Headliner Award for his news reporting. (Bowker Author Biography) vis mindre

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Really enjoyed this book which is essentially a biography but written by a direct descendent with many interesting insights.
jsfecmd | 19 andre anmeldelser | May 26, 2024 |
Astor: The Rise and Fall of an American Fortune by Anderson Cooper

PRINT: © 12/19/2023; 978-0062964700; Harper, First Edition; 336 pages; unabridged. (Hardcover info from Amazon.com)
DIGITAL: © 9/19/2023; 978-0316563789; Harper; 379pages; unabridged. (Kindle info from Amazon.com)
*AUDIO: © 9/19/2023; HarperAudio; Duration: 8:19:00; unabridged. (Audio info from Amazon.com)
FILM: Not that I’m aware of—yet, anyway.


SELECTED: The title and one of the authors intrigued me. I was curious about the subject, and then read in some other book of a political dignitary visiting Mrs. Astor (at this point, I have no idea which one), which increased my curiosity.
ABOUT: Beginning with John Jacob Astor, the founder of the American Fur company and real estate investor; we learn of the growth and long reach of the Astor family and fortune. There’s not much praise for the family here.
OVERALL OPINION: I thought I might learn more of the family’s community involvements than I did, but the book was true to its title, it follows the highs and lows of the family members’ fortunes, their real estate achievements, and even of one or two people that used the name, but were not related. I enjoyed learning about the family and New York in the early years.

AUTHOR: Anderson Cooper. Excerpt from Wikipedia:
“Anderson Hays Cooper (born June 3, 1967)[1] is an American broadcast journalist and political commentator currently anchoring the CNN news broadcast show Anderson Cooper 360°. In addition to his duties at CNN, Cooper serves as a correspondent for 60 Minutes on CBS News. After graduating from Yale University with a Bachelor of Arts in 1989, he began traveling the world, shooting footage of war-torn regions for Channel One News. Cooper was hired by ABC News as a correspondent in 1995, but he soon took more jobs throughout the network, working for a short time as a co-anchor, reality game show host, and fill-in morning talk show host.

In 2001, Cooper joined CNN, where he was given his own show, Anderson Cooper 360°, in 2003; he has remained the show's host since. He developed a reputation for his on-the-ground reporting of breaking news events, with his coverage of Hurricane Katrina causing his popularity to sharply increase. For his coverage of the 2010 Haiti earthquake, Cooper received a National Order of Honour and Merit, the highest honor granted by the Haitian government. From September 2011 to May 2013, he also served as the host of his own syndicated daytime talk show, Anderson Live.

Cooper has won 18 Emmy Awards and two Peabody Awards, as well as an Edward Murrow Award from the Overseas Press Club in 2011. A member of the Vanderbilt family, he came out as gay in 2012, becoming "the most prominent openly gay journalist on American television".[2] In 2016, Cooper became the first openly LGBT person to moderate a presidential debate, and he has received several GLAAD Media Awards.”

AUTHOR Katherine Howe. Excerpt from Wikipedia:
“Katherine Howe (born 1977) is an American novelist who lives in New England and New York City.[1] She specializes in historical novels which she uses to query ideas about "the contingent nature of reality and belief."[2] Her debut novel was the New York Times Bestseller The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane (2009), related to the Salem witch trials. Its success led to her being a guest on several TV news shows, as well as "Salem: Unmasking The Devil" on the National Geographic Channel.

She has also written The House of Velvet and Glass, Conversion, The Appearance of Annie Van Sinderen (2015),[3][4] and A True Account (2023).[5] Her fiction has been translated into more than 20 languages.”

NARRATOR(S): Anderson Cooper. See above.

GENRE: Nonfiction; Biography; Autobiography; History


TIME FRAME: 1700’s to current

SUBJECTS: History; New York; Wealth; Society; Fortune; Astor; Waldorf Astoria; Poverty; Dysfunctional families; Inheritance; Real Estate; Animal Trapping; Fur Company; nobs & swells

“For Sebastian and Wyatt” __A. C. “For my mother” __K. H.

SAMPLE QUOTATION: From the “Introduction”
“My first thought when I met Brooke Astor was, Who is this very small lady in a very big fur coat? I was thirteen, and it wasn’t the first time I’d asked myself such a question upon being introduced to someone by my mom, Gloria Vanderbilt. I knew the name “Astor” only because of the Astor Place subway stop in the East Village and the barbershop nearby called Astor Hair, where the cool kids from my school liked to go. I didn’t know “Astor” was the name of a family whose fortune began with beaver fur; that the pearls Brooke Astor was wearing around her neck and the gold glinting on her earlobes, the lustrous coat over her shoulders, even the food she was about to put into her mouth, would have been paid for—if you traced it back far enough—by the bloody business of removing fur pelts from dead beavers, otters, and other small animals I’m pretty sure the fur she was wearing that day was sable.
It was 1981, and I was eating lunch at Mortimer’s on Manhattan’s Upper East Side with my mom and Carter, my brother, when Mrs. Astor swept in. My dad had died three years before, and my mom often took us to places she would otherwise have gone with him: Broadway plays, Elaine’s for a late-night dinner, the Café Carlyle to hear Bobby Short sing Cole Porter. I enjoyed hanging out with my mother. It was like having a front-row seat to a never-ending performance filled with fascinating and often odd characters you actually got to interact with. And she didn’t take that world too seriously—that was part of the fun of going out with her. We’d all make mental notes of things people said or did and then giggle about it together afterward. I was probably the only thirteen-year-old in New York who did imitations of society figures like Jerry Zipkin and Nan Kempner to make his mom laugh.
We were having chicken paillards and burgers at Mortimer’s that day, but the food was beside the point. Mortimer’s, on the corner of Seventy-Fifth and Lexington, was to New York society what Delmonico’s or Sherry’s had been a century before, that is, once society ladies allowed themselves to be seen eating in restaurants. The original Mrs. Astor, Caroline Astor, who defined and dominated New York society during the Gilded Age, didn’t eat in a restaurant until almost the end of her life, in 1908, when she finally bent to the liberalizing changes of the twentieth century and set foot in Sherry’s, when it was on Fifth Avenue and Thirty-Seventh Street.1 Her coming was an “event” that lit up the gossip pages all over the city.2 Less than eighty years later, Mortimer’s was the scene of many such “events.” It was the “see-and-be-seen” watering hole for the boldest of boldface names on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. “Mortimer’s is the best show in New York. If you can get a table,” Dominick Dunne wrote in Vanity Fair, before cautioning, “But don’t count on getting a table.”
Mrs. Astor, of course, had no such concerns. Her table was waiting for her, right next to ours. Before taking her seat that day in 1981, she paused by our table and said something like “Hello, Gloria. Nice to see you. What handsome young men you have here”—that sort of thing.
Carter and I stood and took turns shaking her gloved hand. We’d had a lot of practice being well-behaved young men, making good impressions when out with our mother. The conversation was brief, which was probably for the best. I could tell right away my mom didn’t like Mrs. Astor.
Later, when I asked her why not, she said, “She just never grabbed me”—which was classic Gloria. My mom rarely said bad things about people, but when she did, she had a lexicon all her own. “Dreadful” was her harshest criticism, usually reserved for someone who was very pushy or rich and money-obsessed. “Vincent Astor was dreadful,” she later informed me, speaking about Brooke’s third husband, whose name and fortune Brooke had inherited after five and a half often miserable years of marriage. I’ve since learned, while researching this book, that nearly everyone who knew Vincent described him similarly.
So, when my mom said that Brooke Astor “just never grabbed her,” I knew exactly what she meant. I suppose someone walking down Lexington Avenue that afternoon and looking through Mortimer’s expansive picture window might have been intrigued to see Gloria Vanderbilt, then fifty-seven years old, and seventy-nine-year-old Brooke Astor, the last two exemplars of Gilded Age New York, dining shoulder to shoulder. Had iPhones existed then, a passerby might even have snapped a picture and posted it on Instagram. #Iconic. Their reasonable assumption would have been that these high-profile women had much in common beyond glittering last names: elegant fashions, powerful friends, and well-appointed homes. My mom had in fact lived for several years in the same penthouse apartment at 10 Gracie Square that Mrs. Astor had once lived in, but in most ways, the two women could not have been more different. Despite the name “Vanderbilt” (which she used only in professional settings) and all that came with it, Gloria had little interest in the social world in which Brooke Astor lived, ruled, and reveled.
Though my mother also found herself in serious financial straits at times, she would never have married a man like Vincent Astor for his money, as Brooke had. My mom did not attend gala benefits or play canasta or gossip with other ladies and gentlemen who lunched. She could have chosen that life; she was expected to—but she didn’t. She rejected it early on, driven by a relentless desire to prove her worth, to make something of herself by herself. She was at heart an artist, a painter and writer, and she preferred to surround herself with creative people, people who were making things.”

3.5 stars.

… (mere)
TraSea | 7 andre anmeldelser | Apr 29, 2024 |
Ferg.ma | 19 andre anmeldelser | Apr 13, 2024 |
A history of the famous Astor clan who were probably the first super rich family of America, and indeed the richest in the world at the time. Amazingly the fortune made from initially beaver pelts, then rolled over into real estate and in particular the operations of a slum lord in New York City. So if your looking for the exploitation angle of capitalism, there you have it.

Anderson Cooper does a commendable job in thoroughly researching the family through the ages and delivering a very readable and entertaining narrative. He fills us in on many of the subplots and intrigues that are in many, the stories remarkable and even astounding. Lots of trivial items in historical frame of New York as well. Being of his persuasion he goes into some detail on the gay scene at the Astor Hotel bar in the 40's and 50's, devoting an entire chapter to the rules and regulations imposed at the time.

And alas they say all things come to an end. And in the scenario of mega-wealthy and associated families, just a limited number of generations, often termed shirt sleeves to shirt sleeves. Not much different for the Astors. It seems that the accumulation of the immense wealth cannot be sustained down the line as the inheritors talent is in having and spending it, not generating.

Of course we have our super wealthy with us today, Bezos and Musk come to mind. Once again the innovators that will send the riches down the line to their own inheritors and if true to form these folks will be the subject of a similar book in the future.
… (mere)
knightlight777 | 7 andre anmeldelser | Apr 12, 2024 |



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