In a day when one must conduct an inventory of old failures and accomplishments while finishing to write the plan for the new year, I would like to share a fantastic American story.
I recently finished the book The First Tycoon; The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt by T. J. Stiles. What a fantastic narrative!
Would you consider yourself to be both lucky and important to society if you:
- Met Lincoln
- Helped Lincoln win the civil war
- Donated the largest and most feared Union Navy vessel
- Fought for the union Navy
- Became a key player in helping New York become the economic center of the US
- Facilitated the migration of people to California during the Gold Rush
- Be a key player in the fight to create a shorter route through Panama and Nicaragua
- Be a pioneer in the idea that companies are entities
- Be a pioneer in the idea that markets should be free
- Be a pioneer in pushing the value of stock markets
- Be a pioneer in the deployment of steam engines
- Be a pioneer in the deployment of railroads
- Rescue the stock market more than once
- The builder of Grand Central in New York
- Did business with two youngsters: Rockefeller and Carnegie
- Being criticized by Mark Twain while the writer was alive
- Created the idea of luxury cruising
- Built comparable wealth to 20 times that of Bill Gates
- Accomplish all after starting from nothing and without any education
|The great story of C. Vanderbilt|
He lived to an extended age at a time when half as old was usually the end of one's life. It would be easy to rewrite history and be critical of such a man. But to do so would be to be blind to the fact that his accomplishments were larger than life. This is a highly recommended book for all and anyone.
I wish all that 2014 begins a better tomorrow.
Feliz Año Nuevo!