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Award-winning author and journalist Anderson Cooper has spent his career documenting the lives of others. But in “Vanderbilt: The Rise and Fall of an American Dynasty,” the CNN news anchor turns inward to chronicle his own well-known family.
His new book, out today (and already a #1 Bestseller on Amazon), explores the story of the Vanderbilts, one of the wealthiest families in American history, whose fortune began with Cooper’s great-great-great grandfather Cornelius Vanderbilt. The years that followed the tycoon’s death in 1877 tell a tale of familial discord as heirs fought over his grand fortune, and subsequent generations found ways make even more money.
Cooper joins historian Katherine Howe in the extensive biography, fusing Howe’s historical expertise with his own insider’s perspective for a one-of-a-kind look into the influential family. From Cooper’s ancestors’ humble beginnings near New York Harbor to their eventual entry into the highest echelons of society, the story unfolds as a history of not just one extraordinary family but the unfettered American capitalism they represent.
This isn’t the first time Cooper has written about his bloodline. His previous book “The Rainbow Comes and Goes” features candid conversations between himself and his mother Gloria Vanderbilt in which they talk about their lives, values and respective experiences as heirs to the storied family.