161 x 234 x 25mm
Subtitle: The Extraordinary Saga of How One Building Broke the World's Toughest Tycoons
owering and talented, they are rich, powerful, driven dreamers. They are also tortured, vindictive, neurotic. Scathingly successful, these flamboyant real estate tycoons share a voracious desire and joust for a plot of land and its gleaming white fortress, the most expensive office building in America: the General Motors Building.
New York Times bestselling author Vicky Ward reveals the high-stakes gamesmanship, risky sleight-of-hand bets, brutal deceptions, foolish betrayals, and broken spirits among the over-reachers and titans. Beginning with Tammany Hall scoundrel William Magear “Boss” Tweed and including Harry Macklowe, Donald J. Trump, William Zeckendorf, Mort Zuckerman, Stephen C. Hilbert, Disque D. Deane, Lord Max Rayne, Cecilia Benattar, and Harry S. Black, their rise-and-fall stories span 150 years. Dream chasing, it turns out, in the world of global real estate is far dirtier than even she—a veteran investigative reporter and the author of a book on Wall Street—could ever have imagined.
One as good as killed his wife with cruelty. Another helicoptered five miles to work each day, and married a woman who jumped nearly naked out of a cake. The colorful, indefatigable “housewife tycoon” chief executive brazenly battled New York’s social and business elite. All went to bewildering, extraordinary lengths to pursue their goals.
The boorish behavior at The Liar’s Ball, the annual gala that the Real Estate Board of New York throws itself, had intrigued Ward when she attended. It paled in comparison to the roughness she unearthed in over 200 interviews for this book with her crowd of “rough riders” (as the New York real estate dealmakers were once called).
And yet tempering the grotesque intemperance was the humanity, the vulnerability that these characters—for the most part—revealed. They are fascinating in their insecurities as much as in their ambitions, and Ward masterfully brings together their intrigues and ironies in a gripping story alive with all the complexities of human nature — a book as compelling and absolutely absorbing as the charismatic leaders of the dance at The Liar’s Ball.