Cover: John Jacob Astor: Business Man, Volume I, from Harvard University PressCover: John Jacob Astor: Business Man, Volume I in E-DITION

John Jacob Astor: Business Man, Volume I

Available from De Gruyter »

Product Details


$65.00 • €60.00

ISBN 9780674600126

Publication Date: 01/01/1931

585 pages


Harvard University Press has partnered with De Gruyter to make available for sale worldwide virtually all in-copyright HUP books that had become unavailable since their original publication. The 2,800 titles in the “e-ditions” program can be purchased individually as PDF eBooks or as hardcover reprint (“print-on-demand”) editions via the “Available from De Gruyter” link above. They are also available to institutions in ten separate subject-area packages that reflect the entire spectrum of the Press’s catalog. More about the E-ditions Program »

Starting his business career by selling musical instruments in New York City, John Jacob Astor then bought and sold furs and developed trade with Europe, Canton, and the Pacific Northwest. Luck was his friend, the world his game of chance. New York City his prize; and his work helped to point the way to New York’s later position of greatness in commerce and finance. After he had done so much to build up the commerce which made that city great, he turned to capitalize and secure his earnings. The distant trades in tea and fur he left as of waning profits for the more certain and easily managed business of owning real estate on Manhattan Island. This biography not only chronicles the scope of his business career but brings out those elements of personality which led to unprecedented success. The work is built up on the basis of letters, accounts, and deeds, but tradition is not disregarded. Many original documents are reproduced as part of the story.

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Books influence us in untold ways, and the ones that influence us the most are often read in childhood. Harvard University Press Senior Editor Julia Kirby is reminded of this on the anniversary of the birth of one of this country’s most celebrated economists. This month would have brought Thomas Schelling’s one-hundredth birthday—and he got closer to seeing it than many mortals. The Nobel laureate economist died just five years ago, after a brilliant career as both a scholar and an advisor to US foreign policy strategists. What better day to dip into his classic work