Rich may or may not be better, but it’s usually pretty interesting, and much of the next issue is given over to examining the history of wealth in this country. Among the stories:
“There she stands,” Potter Palmer once boasted of his jeweled wife, “with two million on her.” Palmer was a Chicagoan, and in that vigorous city the Gilded Age wealthy had a vitality lacking in their Eastern counterparts. While the Newport set spent inherited money, Chicago’s aristocrats got to invent their society even as they made the money that fueled it. The result was an engaging, uninhibited, and occasionally scary group of individualists whose saga the historian Bernard Weisberger recounts.
One hundred years ago an immense number of thoughtful citizens took it for granted that capitalism was doomed. And yet, over the course of an arduous century, it has survived and flourished. Martin Mayer tells why.
In 1902, motor racing was the definitive rich man’s sport, but on the Florida beaches all classes mingled to watch the likes of William K. Vanderbilt ride their monstrous, hugecylindered automobiles faster than humans ever had gone before.
Charles Sheeler, the artist of industrial might…Alfred Kazin on Emerson’s “intellectual Declaration of Independence”…a unique walking tour of Wall Street that turns out to be a financial history of the Republic from colony to superpower…and, with a profligacy that Jubilee Jim Fisk would have admired, more.