By Patricia Beard
After the Ball is that infrequent actual tale that reads like an epic novel, a sweeping chronicle of an period, and an intimate account of the wish and betrayal of a son whose father gave him every little thing -- other than the learning to discover his method in territory governed by way of the rapacious.James Hazen Hyde used to be twenty-three in 1899 whilst he inherited the bulk stocks within the billion-dollar Equitable existence coverage Society. in simple terms 5 years later, he fell from grace in a Wall road scandal that obsessed the country and commanded a hundred and fifteen front-page articles within the big apple Times.Hyde was once clever, cultured, and impressive, yet he used to be no fit for an older iteration that had mapped the backstreets of excessive finance. Vying to regulate the Equitable's gigantic funding pool, the main well-known financiers and industrialists of the period -- between them E. H. Harriman, Henry Clay Frick, and J. P. Morgan -- placed Hyde on forty-eight forums and incorporated him in offers that shook Wall highway. after which, on the top of social good fortune, he made a deadly miscalculation.On the final evening of January 1905, James Hyde held a fabulously flamboyant, eighteenth-century, Versailles-themed dress ball. His enemies used the social gathering because the hook to hold him on, claiming that he used to be too frivolous to run a firm devoted to retaining widows and orphans; and unfold the rumor that he had spent 2 hundred thousand money of Equitable funds on a night's leisure. by the point a central authority research demonstrated that Hyde had paid the money owed himself, his attractiveness was once ruined.The sour crusade to wrest keep an eye on of the Equitable and its huge funding capability from Hyde at the heels of the ball. because the struggle escalated, clandestine alliances among insurers and Wall highway burst to the outside, exposing innovations which are the stuff of twenty-first-century scandals: self-dealing, insider buying and selling, accounting malpractice, and company investment of non-public pleasures.After the Ball tells a story that riveted thousands of american citizens a century in the past. Its issues are as clean at the present time as they have been in 1905: greed and chicanery, the mistaken love among fathers and sons, and contradictory American attitudes approximately wealth -- all unfolding opposed to a surroundings of beauty, extra, and corrupting glamour.
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Additional info for After the Ball: Gilded Age Secrets, Boardroom Betrayals, and the Party That Ignited the Great Wall Street Scandal of 1905
Often, they were hypochondriacs, or were sick so frequently that even when they felt well, they were anticipating the next illness. Henry’s neurasthenia was probably caused by a combination of pressure and genetics. His sister, Lucy B. Hyde, was institutionalized in Bloomingdale’s Insane Asylum; Henry was awarded a citation for guardianship of an insane person and managed the $35,000 trust fund their father had set aside for her. In 1875, Henry was told that she was temporarily improved, and making an effort to keep her hysteria in check, but that she was almost certain to suffer a relapse.
His fragile health was attributed to overwork, and his doctors insisted that he limit his involvement in the business, so even before he died, his son was guided by James Alexander. James Hyde took a great deal on faith. ” In the ﬁrst months after Henry’s death, James was soothed to hear Alexander pronounce the old litanies. ” James believed him, and JWA believed his own words, despite his decades of serving special interests. He tried to uphold the “sacred trust,” while managing the investments to which Henry had committed the company, but the wires that connected the conﬂicting parts of his character twanged with tension.
Then I have been all over this country previous to my going into the business with my father. . He had instilled in me his theories about the business of life insurance. . A year or more before graduating from college . . I became a director of the Society and attended its annual meetings. . I had lived in what might be called a life insurance atmosphere from my earliest youth. 15 In the “life insurance atmosphere,” Henry impressed on James “the sacredness of the trust” and the concept that the Equitable had a soul, which would be his “solemn duty” to protect.
After the Ball: Gilded Age Secrets, Boardroom Betrayals, and the Party That Ignited the Great Wall Street Scandal of 1905 by Patricia Beard