Commodore Vanderbilt: An Epic of American Achievement
Corneel flung up that lion head of his, a mingling of amusement and resentment mirrored in his frosty eyes. "Steamship, gal," he corrected. "Steamboats don't go to sea. The Prometheus is the sightliest craft in these waters. I didn't see her beat in England, either. And I'll tell ye something else. She's the fust ocean steamer ever built with one man's money." A flame of high egotism ennobled his conqueror's face. "She's Cornelius Van Derbilt's, as she puts to sea. No other man owns ary dollar of her. She's mine, b'God, mine!" -from Chapter IV His name has not endured like those of his contemporaries, but Arthur D. Howden Smith was, in the early years of the 20th century, a tremendously popular author of pulp fiction on a par with E.E. "Doc" Smith and Edgar Rice Burroughs. And the same boisterous enthusiasm that made his adventure tales of pirates and Vikings so rip-roaring readable bursts forth from his nonfiction as well. Here, in this 1927 work, Howden Smith tells the story of the life of American railroad and shipping magnate Cornelius Vanderbilt, from his family's roots in Holland to the last weeks before his death, when he clung to life with the pitbull tenacity that has taken him from a humble Staten Island childhood to wealth, fame, and power. Fun and feisty, this is a terrific work of classic biography. Also available from Cosimo Classics: Howden Smith's John Jacob Astor: Landlord of New York. ARTHUR DOUGLAS HOWDEN SMITH (1887-1945) was an enormously prolific and diverse writer, penning numerous short stories, biographies, and business studies, but he is best remembered for his many pulp novels, including Porto Bello Gold (a prequel to Treasure Island), The Dead Go Overside, The Doom Trail, Swain's Saga, and others.
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