What a bunch of self-centered, selfish, nasty, horrid people! How can anyone be like this? And I’m not referring to the Vanderbilts, but rather, the entire “society” of the time. I guess the equivalents today would be the Trumps, and in terms of ostentatious houses, the Ambanis. 

The battles that the Commodore fought are fairly entertaining and point to the need for government regulation.

I’m also currently reading “Walt Whitman’s America”, which is contemporaneous with the rise of the Commodore. It shows a completely different picture of America and New York.

I’m happy to have read this book, if nothing else, it shone a light on human nature that is not evil in the way that, say, the nazis were evil, but is evil in its own way…

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