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Cover of Misfortunes of Wealth, by James Oliver Goldsborough

Title: The Misfortunes of Wealth
Author: James Oliver Goldsborough

List Price: $27.95
ISBN-13 978-0-9770429-9-9
ISBN-10 0-9770429-9-5

Where Inherited Wealth
and Family Intersect

Not always for the good.

"A beautifully written and moving work. Put in a generational and social context it sensitively portrays one family's experience and something revealing and moving about American society. It is really magnificent. I truly couldn't put it down."

Ronald Steel, author of
Walter Lippmann and the American Century

Listen to the author interview on San Diego, California PBS Radio Station KPBS:
http://www.kpbs.org/radio/these_days?id=13006#

ISBN-13 978-0-9770429-9-0, $27.95, 16 per carton. 308 pages, Hardcover, 6x9 in. Over 75 black and white images including photos, drawings, and maps. Includes index and genealogy. Categories include: Wealth In America--Social Aspects, Case Studies, American History, American Industrialists, American Politicians, California, Pennsylvania, non-fiction.

DESCRIPTION

The legacy of a family tree populated with military, political, and industrial leaders of their time, including:

  • General John Neville, a central figure in the 1794 Whiskey Rebellion.
  • Revolutionary War Major Daniel Leet, who became official surveyor for Western Pennsylvania.
  • Kentucky Senator J. J. Crittenden, author of the pre-Civil War Crittenden Compromise.
  • T. L. and G. B. Crittenden, the only two brothers to serve as generals on opposing sides of the Civil War.
  • Army Lieutenant J. J. Crittenden, who died with Custer at Little Big Horn.
  • Missouri Governor Thomas T. Crittenden whose reward led to the murder of Jesse James.
  • Army Colonel T. L. Crittenden, executed by the Spanish at Havana Bay.
  • Henry Oliver, developer of Minnesota’s Mesabi iron ore range upon which U. S. steel production became dependent.
  • William Crittenden, ex-U. S. government official in Mexico, became Arthur Stillwell’s agent to the Olivers, Pittsburgh steel magnates, leading to construction of the Kansas City Mexico and Orient Railway.
  • William Goldsborough, who launched RAMSA, the first California to Mexico airline.

Misfortunes of Wealth explores one of American society's endlessly fascinating scenarios, the one where inherited wealth and family intersect, not always to the good. Best of all, the story is true. James Goldsborough takes the reader on a journey beginning with Revolutionary War heroes down through succeeding generations of Civil War notables, industrial titans, an improbable love story with an eleven-year courtship, a couple besotted and befuddled by all that is given them, and finally, a son who not only survives but thrives.

The family tree is populated with such historical families as the Shields, the Crittendens, the Olivers, the Nevilles, and the Craigs; military, political, and industrial leaders of their time.

The story is one of east and west, north and south: Western Pennsylvania, land of opportunity in the Republic's early years and later a seat of eastern high society; California immediately after World War II as the new land of opportunity; dreams of railroads and then an airline to open up vast territories of Mexico; brother-against-brother in war. El Chepe and Ramsa; exotic adventures and improbable schemes; lives fulfilled and lives wasted, Misfortunes of Wealth portrays the schizophrenia of people ricocheting between vast opportunity and the inability to make a life in the shadow of great wealth.

The story is accompanied by astonishing first hand accounts. Numerous "baby books" kept by the author's grandmother, photographs, diaries, and letters not only give credence to accounts but voice to the people who wrote them. These are not far-away characters in a fairy tale but real flesh-and-blood human beings speaking through the generations.

About the Author

James Oliver Goldsborough is an award-winning journalist who has written on national and foreign affairs for four decades from the United States and Europe, where he reported for the New York Herald Tribune, International Herald Tribune, Toronto Star and Newsweek magazine. He is a former Edward R. Murrow Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment. His previous book, Rebel Europe: Living with a Changing Continent, was praised by Charles Champlin of The Los Angeles Times as "the most important book I have read in years."

Goldsborough has been a reporter, editor and columnist for the San Francisco Examiner, Honolulu Advertiser, Arizona Republic, San Jose Mercury-News and San Diego Union Tribune. He is a contributor to the New York Times Magazine, Fortune, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, the Reader's Digest and Politique Étrangere. A graduate of UCLA, he attended UC Berkeley Law School and later served in the U. S. Army, attached to Special Services. He currently writes for the on-line newspaper Voice of San Diego. He resides in San Diego.

James Oliver Goldsborough, Author of Misfortunes of Wealth. James Oliver Goldsborough is an award-winning journalist who has written on national and foreign affairs for four decades from the United States and Europe, where he reported for the New York Herald Tribune, International Herald Tribune, Toronto Star and Newsweek magazine. He is a former Edward R. Murrow Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment. His previous book, Rebel Europe: Living with a Changing Continent, was praised by Charles Champlin of The Los Angeles Times as "the most important book I have read in years."

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