This is the third in my series of posts about the five businessmen the History Channel profiled in a terribly inaccurate and un-historical miniseries titled The Men Who Built America. I’m writing these posts in response to several comments and e-mails from TV viewers who have expressed interest in a more accurate version of the story.
Post #3: Cornelius Vanderbilt, Age Twenty-Four to Thirty-Four
In last week’s post I described the first eight years of Cornelius Vanderbilt’s career, up to the point where he shut down his profitable shipping business and accepted a job as a steamboat captain. There were good reasons for this move, although Vanderbilt might have been the only person who could see them at the time. Vanderbilt, like all the really successful businessmen of the nineteenth century, had a knack for thinking strategically.