The Big Rich - the rise and fall of the greatest Texas fortunes
by Burrough, Brian
pub. by Penguin Press, NY, 2009      isbn 978-1-59420-199-8 LCCN - 2008027043 - - 466 p. - photographs, bibliography notes, index,
This book was recommended by a friend, and I am glad he did. It is the fascinating story of the big oil families in Texas - H.L. Hunt - Sid Richardson - Clint. Murchison - Roy Cullen, and their children. It begins just before the Spindletop gusher (describing what happened in fine detail) and continues on nearly to the present day. As the families branched out from oil the story follows their efforts. If one wishes to understand politics and big money in USA, and the hubris of the people who held this wealth, this is the book to read. In the end, they all came to grief, but it should be noted that the surviving families still have more wealth than the this writer and most likely the readers of these words. These men were the richest in the world... and they managed to squander their wealth through unwise use of that wealth. H.L. Hunt was the least -splashy- but had the wierdest family life, having married, concurrently, 3 women and having 3 complete families, complicating the lives and finances of his heirs, of which he had many. Hunts attempt to corner the Silver market is discussed. Murchisons sports (Dallas Cowboys) efforts are explored. A comparatively minor player, Glenn McCarthy, built the Shamrock Hotel in Houston, to be the end-all of hotels. That adventure in finance and public relations is a study on how to spend more money than one could ever re-coup. In all, a fascinating book, about larger than life people
~ 2010-06-22 ~

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