SKYSCRAPER DREAMS is the ground-breaking portrait of the visionary real estate moguls who created New York’s awe-inspiring buildings, and of the money and power that make up the world of New York real estate and its multimillionaires. The book takes us from the Astors and Rockefellers, at the outset of the skyscraper era, to the Kennedys at mid-century, and to three-generation families of the Tishmans, Rudins, and Roses, whose founders came to the United States as penniless Russian Jews fleeing pogroms. Along the way we meet other charismatic developers, such as “Big Bill” Zeckendorf, the model for “The Donald” Trump, and Harry and Leona Helmsley.
SKYSCRAPER DREAMS, which begins with a party at which the developers play “Monopoly” with real money for the benefit of a charity, is also a compelling record of the monied lives and petty feuds, the jealousies and inside tricks – both political and financial – of the players of the big-time real estate game.
“A fascinating history, showing how the city has been molded by the edifice complexes of risk-takers …. Shachtman ably sketches the rise and fall of these family empires …. The feuds of these real estate kingpins are the stuff of grand comedy … wonderful fun.” — Business Week
“Superb reporting on the industry’s wheeling and dealing …. Shachtman has done an enormous amount of research, and the story of how Manhattan was built is a fascinating one.”— New York Times Book Review
“Reads like a novel … about the dreamers and doers who built the skyscrapers of New York City. The book is filled with intrigue, dirt, corruption and everything else involved in the building of our greatest city.” — Cincinnati Enquirer
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