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The Big Rich: The Rise and Fall of the Greatest Texas Oil Fortunes (Englisch) Audio-CD – Dezember 2009

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-- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Gebundene Ausgabe.

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“Bryan Burrough has long been one of this nation’s best storytellers, but he has outdone himself with his tour de force, The Big Rich. Set amid the rough and tumble of the Texas oil fields and stretching to the halls of political power in Washington, this epic tale reveals the hidden undercurrents of modern American history that flowed from four families of unimaginable wealth and recklessness. With an unerring eye for detail, Burrough dissects their lives and histories, starting with the patriarchs—struggling, poorly educated men who might have remained forever unknown if not for their success at pulling black ooze from the ground. The Big Rich lays bare their arrogance and aspirations, their principles and hypocrisy, their daring and foolishness, taking readers deep inside a world of affluence that has remained secret for far too long. It is, quite simply, a triumph.”
—Kurt Eichenwald, author of The Informant and Conspiracy of Fools

“It’s hard to imagine a greater literary marriage than that of the oil barons of Texas and Bryan Burrough. On the one hand, you have a collection of gargantuan personalities who in the 1920s struck it rich and then, in the decades that followed, used their wealth to transform American business, culture and politics. On the other, you have an author—and native Texan—who writes, as he always does, with enormous insight and panache. The Big Rich has all the hallmarks of a classic American saga.”
—David Margolick, author of Beyond Glory: Joe Louis vs. Max Schmeling, and a World on the Brink

The Big Rich, a 400 page opus on the oil-powered rise of the Texas elite, has so many characters and entertaining subplots it reads like a petroleum-based Lord of the Rings. This is, of course, a compliment… In Burrough’s captivating story, done with the same keen eye on excess as his corporate classic Barbarians at the Gate, it’s clear these men cast a shadow so wide they contributed more to our economic, national and political identities than almost any other titans of industry.”

“Lively…impeccably rendered… Burrough has done estimable new reporting, showing links between Texas money and national politics that stretch back far earlier than the days of Lyndon B. Johnson.”
—Mimi Schwartz, The New York Times Book Review

“A Lone Star epic… Burrough introduces his protagonists with a novelist’s eye for detail. … Though this book forms an epitaph for a bygone era, it’s not without relevance today.”

“It would be hard to ask for a literally or figuratively rich cast of characters than those in The Big Rich… Nicely detailed and suspenseful.”
—Harry Hurt III, The New York Times Business Section

“Eminently readable.”
Texas Monthly

“Winning…well researched and briskly told. Burrough has produced an indispensable guide to the knotty fascination that Texas spurs in the imagination.”

“Here at Capitol Annex, we get a fair number of books to review. Rarely do we come across one that we can so highly recommend… The Big Rich is simply a ‘must read.”
The Capitol Annex

“Capitalism at its most colorful oozes across the pages of this engrossing study of independent oil men… This is a portrait of capitalism as white-knuckle risk taking, yielding fruitful discoveries for the fathers, but only sterile speculation for the sons— a story that resonates with today’s economic upheaval.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“The most improbable people of all must live in Texas and, in the good old days, they hunted for oil, found it, sold it, made fortunes and eventually blew most of it. In The Big Rich, Bryan Burrough tells a wonderful tale of the four biggest Texas millionaires.”
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“Burrough…invokes a tale of bitter competition, family feuds, booms, and bankruptcies that more than lives up to the legends.”
Booklist (starred review)

“An entertaining look at the larger-than-life histories of the incomprehensibly rich and powerful.”
Library Journal

“Full of schadenfreude and speculation—and solid, timely history too.”
Kirkus Reviews

“First-class entertainment.”
—Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post

“What’s not to enjoy about a book full of monstrous egos, unimaginable sums of money and the punishment of greed and shortsightedness by the march of events?…[The Big Rich] is a ripping… read from start to finish. At the end of it those of less ample fortunes will feel their Schadenfreude richly indulged.”
The Economist -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Gebundene Ausgabe .

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Bryan Burrough is a special correspondent at Vanity Fair and the author of numerous bestselling books, including Barbarians at the Gate: The Fall of RJR Nabisco (with John Helyar) and Public Enemies: America’s Greatest Crime Wave and the Birth of the FBI, 1933-1934. A former reporter for The Wall Street Journal, he is a three-time winner of the John Hancock Award for excellence in financial journalism. -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Gebundene Ausgabe .

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103 von 117 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Von Shannon Deason - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
This book takes on a subject that has been neglected for far too long. To understand conservative Texas today, you really need an education on the men that shaped it, namely ..Hunt, Cullen, Murchison, and Richardson. All four of these men are uniquely Texan, good and bad. Cullen is by far the most philanthropic, but in many ways the least enteresting, he lived a mostly quite life in Houston's enclave of wealth, River Oaks, and gave away 90 percent of his fortune. What I find most interesting, is that this most conservative of men, gave millions to Texas Southern, Houston's traditionally African American university; he also funded the University of Houston, it's not an understatement to call him Mr. Houston. H.L. Hunt is by far the most interesting, but by far the least philanthropic, Im not sure he ever gave to anything but the Klan, but his three families and all his silly ideas are so hilarious, you really have to give it to the guy for being colorful..Hurt's book on H.L. Hunt is fantastic..his meantion of H.L.'s "creeping" is the limit. As for Richardson, he was in may ways the quenticential Wildcatter, he had the look, the charm, and the bravado, and his collection of Western memorabilia is amazing. Murchison, on the other hand, was more like a brilliant accountant, and look liked one, he was the least like a traditional Wildcatter. This book also delves into the lives of the offspring of these iconic men. Murchisons son, of course founded the Dallas Cowboys, the subsequently, partied all the money away, Richardson's Bass family, has had their share of scandel, divorces and of course Hunts son's tried to corner the silver market in the 80' about chutzpa and his son Lamar co founded the American Football League and owned the Kansas City Chiefs. Even the staid Cullen had an interesting grandson, the simply ridiculous Baron "Ricky" Di Portenova, he claimed to be an Italian Count on his father side, nobody bought it in Houston, but alas he was colorful, and threw some amazing parties at his mansion in River Oaks and his palace on a hill in Acapulco. Overall, this is a fun read, well written and researched, if you have any interest in Texas history and the Texas Oil Rich, then I cant imagine you not loving this for the unhelpful just shows that on Amazon there is always at least one person who will find a black cloud on a sunny day..I mean how on earth is this review not helpful?
45 von 51 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Take a romp in the Texas oil patch 30. Januar 2009
Von Susanna Hutcheson - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
The rich Texas oil people have always been a source of fascination to most all of us. In this new book, Bryan Burrough gives us the history of the oil rich. He was a co-author, with John Helyar, of the exciting book"Barbarians at the Gate: The Fall of RJR Nabisco." He is also a native of Texas.

He leads us through the lives of the Texan oil rich, Roy Cullen of Houston, Sid Richardson of Fort Worth, and Clint Murchison and H. L. Hunt of Dallas.

"If Texas Oil had a Mount Rushmore, their faces would adorn it," Burrough writes. "A good ol' boy. A scold. A genius. A bigamist. Known in their heyday as the Big Four, they became the founders of the greatest Texas family fortunes, headstrong adventurers who rose from nowhere to take turns being acclaimed America's wealthiest man."

You'll enjoy the stories that can only happen in Texas. For example, you'll see Hunt going between his three families, Cullen in a a war bond drive that and another wealthy Texan wearing and throwing away $100 bills as bow ties.

I found this to be a well researched book. It's fast and exciting reading. It gives you a look at contemporary history but, at the same time, a personal look into the lives of those who lived large from the fruits of the black gold that poured from the Texas landscape.

Highly recommended.

- Susanna K. Hutcheson
25 von 28 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Big Rich, Maybe not.... 1. April 2009
Von B. A. Murdock - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
This book provides considerable detail about an important slice of 20th Century Americana viz., the emergence of Texas as a economic, social, and political influence in America. In the classic sense of fact be stranger than fiction, this story almost tells itself and Bryan Burrough does an admirable job of synthesizing the various elements of the story into an American epic tale. I found the book at times too heavy on detail, as though the author insists on sharing all the research he worked so hard to obtain. The book also suffers from a bit of temporal arrogance as it looks back on early and mid 20th Century history with a 21st Century sensibility, which tends to depict everything in a critical light rather than a contemporary context. Certainly a worthwhile read.
18 von 23 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Wildcats, Stewardesses and Hell with Cows 25. März 2009
Von MJS - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
You might be tempted to read this book to better understand the oil industry or how Texas went from populism to conservatism or even how one might go about cornering the world market on a precious metal. Certainly you would learn about all these topics by reading The Big Rich. But you would be missing the point. The point of The Big Rich is a Texas-size good time. Why? Because the crazy factor is through the roof.

The Big Rich in question are mainly the Big Four: Sid Richardson, Roy Cullen, Clint Murchison and H.L. Hunt and their families with occasional appearances by a "lesser" oil millionaires. Not a single one of them acquired their wealth in a boring manner. Physical derring-do, financial brinkmanship and fantastic luck all play a role in striking oil and amassing incomprehensibly large fortunes. There's something innocent and charming about the antics of the Big Four - opening fancy hotels in the middle of nowhere or creating their own private clubhouse for the boys, at age 30 - at least the antics that don't involve H.L. Hunt and his bigamous desire to propagate his genes at widely as possible. H.L. is quite the character or "crank" as he describes himself. I'd substitute "creep" in place of "crank" but there's no doubt that he'd be happy to drink someone else's milkshake given the opportunity.

The fun hits the stratosphere when the second generation of big rich takes the stage. Bunker and Lamar Hunt are nearly as loony as dear old dad in their wacky hi-jinks such as the actual physical storage of a large percentage of the world's silver and their freelance wiretapping. Baron "Ricky" di Portanova seems to have been Patient Zero when it comes to the disease of EuroTrash complete with wife named Ljuba, pet monkey and marital pep talks from Kirk Douglas.

In any other book they'd be the most entertainingly crazy characters. But in this book has Clint Murchison Jr and he will take your crazy and raise it ten times. In the space of a mere ten years he's launching a new company, building a resort and funding a pirate radio station in the Baltic Sea, and starting the Dallas Cowboys. And that's just his day job, Clint also has some fascinating hobbies: drugs (cocaine) and stewardesses (Braniff). As Burroughs explains, Braniff Airways

"became one of his obsessions. In the early '60s Clint actually began attending their graduation, sitting in a back row eyeing his would-be conquests."

Clint Murchison, I never met you and I'm amazed that your first wife didn't take an axe to your head on multiple occasions but for living a life that allowed such a sentence to be written I salute you, sir. You're the most crazily trashy person in a book filled with trashy crazy people. You go, Clint Murchison, wherever you are. (Also, way to cut out the middleman!)

Clint was called to glory in 1987 and today most of the entertainingly crazy scions of the Big Rich are also gone or bankrupt. The tales of their declines aren't nearly as much fun to read but that's hardly surprising. You can't top Joan Crawford trying to bag Sid Richardson with excerpts from bankruptcy proceedings.

Bryan Burrough has done his homework and explains the oil industry, the efforts to regulate it, and the intricacies of several lawsuits in a surprisingly accessible way. Still, as with all his books, what Burrough does best is tell a complex, wide-angle story with enough energy and just sheer enjoyment to fill out a half dozen summer blockbusters. It's like the Life cereal commercials used to say: "It's good tasting and good for you."

Kindle note: no photographs or linked index in the Kindle edition. The footnotes and sources are linked.
6 von 8 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
An entertaining, but flawed work 23. April 2009
Von Robert H. Renneker - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
The Big Rich covers this history of four Texas oil familys--the Hunts, Murchisons, Richardsons, and Cullens--and the author, Bryan Burrough doesn't let the facts get in the way of a good story. Like several other readers, my complaint with this book concerns the extensive factual errors seeded throughout. For example, on page 105 the author states that "McCarthy broke his own American record by purchasing the champion steer, an eight-hundred-pound heifer, for $15,400." A steer is a male bovine castrated before sexual maturity; a heifer is a female that has not had a calf. Another mistake is found on page 222 where the author states that Senator Joseph McCarthy ascended to Congressman Martin Dies's old chairmanship of the House Un-American Activities Committee. Senators do not sit on House committees. McCarthy, as chairman of the Senate Committee on Government Operations used the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations to investigate alleged communist activities.

Despite the sheer number of mistakes, the story Burrough tells is as captivating as Giant (Two-Disc Special Edition) (Keepcase) or the TV series Dallas: The Complete Seasons 1-8.
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