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Lisa Ling
Join us for a virtual Live Talks Los Angeles event:
Wednesday, September 29, 2021, 6:00pm PDT/9pm EDT

Anderson Cooper
in conversation with Lisa Ling
discussing his book, 
Vanderbilt: The Rise and Fall of an American Dynasty


This event was taped in front of a live audience with limited capacity


— $40 includes a copy of the book with signed book plate (shipping included)
— Please note we only ship to US addresses

New York Times bestselling author and journalist Anderson Cooper chronicles the rise and fall of a legendary American dynasty—his mother’s family, the Vanderbilts.

Anderson Cooper is an anchor at CNN and a correspondent for CBS’ 60 Minutes. Cooper has won 18 Emmys and numerous other major journalism awards. He has written two books which topped the New York Timesbestsellers list. Dispatches From The Edge – A Memoir of Wars, Disasters, and Survivaland The Rainbow Comes and Goes, which he co-wrote with his mother, Gloria Vanderbilt. Cooper lives in New York with his son, Wyatt. The book is co-authored with Katherine Howe.

Lisa Ling is the Executive Producer and host of This is Life on CNN, now in its eighth season. For five seasons prior, She was Executive Producer and hosted Our America on OWN. She was also a field correspondent for The Oprah Winfrey Show and contributor to ABC News’ Nightline.  Lisa was the first female host of National Geographic’s flagship show Explorer. She got her start in journalism as a correspondent for Channel One News where she covered the civil war in Afghanistan at 21 years of age. She later went to become a co-host of ABC Daytime’s show The View, which won its first daytime Emmy during her time at the show. She is the co-author of Mother, Sister, Daughter, Bride: Rituals of Womanhood, and Somewhere Inside: One Sister’s Captivity in North Korea and The Other’s Fight to Bring Her Home that she penned with sister Laura.

“A dramatic tale expertly told of rapacious ambition, decadent excess, and covert and overt tyranny and trauma. . . . With resplendent detail, the authors capture the gasp-eliciting extravagance of the Vanderbilt Gilded Age mansions. . . . With its intrinsic empathy and in-depth profiles of women, this is a distinctly intimate, insightful, and engrossing chronicle of an archetypal, self-consuming American dynasty. . . . Irresistible.” — Booklist (starred review)


When eleven-year-old Cornelius Vanderbilt began to work on his father’s small boat ferrying supplies in New York Harbor at the beginning of the nineteenth century, no one could have imagined that one day he would, through ruthlessness, cunning, and a pathological desire for money, build two empires—one in shipping and another in railroads—that would make him the richest man in America. His staggering fortune was fought over by his heirs after his death in 1877, sowing familial discord that would never fully heal. Though his son Billy doubled the money left by “the Commodore,” subsequent generations competed to find new and ever more extraordinary ways of spending it. By 2018, when the last Vanderbilt was forced out of The Breakers—the seventy-room summer estate in Newport, Rhode Island, that Cornelius’s grandson and namesake had built—the family would have been unrecognizable to the tycoon who started it all.

Now, the Commodore’s great-great-great-grandson Anderson Cooper, joins with historian Katherine Howe to explore the story of his legendary family and their outsized influence. Cooper and Howe breathe life into the ancestors who built the family’s empire, basked in the Commodore’s wealth, hosted lavish galas, and became synonymous with unfettered American capitalism and high society. Moving from the hardscrabble wharves of old Manhattan to the lavish drawing rooms of Gilded Age Fifth Avenue, from the ornate summer palaces of Newport to the courts of Europe, and all the way to modern-day New York, Cooper and Howe wryly recount the triumphs and tragedies of an American dynasty unlike any other.

Written with a unique insider’s viewpoint, this is a rollicking, quintessentially American history as remarkable as the family it so vividly captures.