Summary of Mellon
An American Life
Copyright © 2006 by David Cannadine
Used by arrangement with Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc.
The secret lives of a famous capitalist, Secretary of the Treasury, philanthropist, art-collector and scandalized cuckold.
You will savor this account of the tumultuous life of Andrew Mellon, an arrogant turn-of-the-last-century industrialist and millionaire. He was torn to tatters by a scandalous divorce and, later, by opposing politicians. However, he transcended those humiliations by establishing the lavish National Art Gallery just before he died. "Andy" Mellon's life (1855-1937) stretched across critical years when the U.S. was transformed from an appendage of Europe to a superpower. His work as treasury secretary was held in such esteem that the Republican Party considered running him for president. However, even given his role as head of the Treasury, Mellon could not curtail the 1920s margin-buying stock market mania that led to the 1929 crash and the Great Depression. He is mostly remembered for the National Art Gallery and for his sex-scandal divorce fight. David Cannadine offers a highly readable biography, which is very balanced though Mellon's son, Paul, commissioned it. However, some readers may decide to skim through the extensive coverage of the politicized "Tax Trial," and Andy's ordinary trade in minor art and small firms. getAbstract highly recommends this extraordinary saga.
In this summary, you will learn
- What drove industrialist Andrew Mellon
- How his new ventures became giant companies
- How he served as treasury secretary in three administrations
- How this greedy capitalist established the National Art Gallery
- How he survived marriage, divorce, impeachment, infamy, trial and taxes
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