T.J. Stiles will be the featured speaker at Darien Library on Thursday, May 13 at 7 p.m.

T.J. Stiles, the author of The First Tycoon: the Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt, was recently awarded the Pulitzer Prize for biography for The First Tycoon.  His appearance is part of our Spring Author Series and we are delighted that he will be here to tell us about Cornelius Vanderbilt, the man who inspired the term "robber baron." The title of the book includes the word epic (and it is); Dwight Garner of The New York Times calls the prize-winning book a "whacking new biography." How in the world can we miss this talk?

The First Tycoon is a national bestseller and 2009 National Book Award Winner for Nonfiction. It is a gripping, groundbreaking biography of the combative man whose genius and force of will created modern capitalism.

Founder of a dynasty, builder of the original Grand Central, creator of an impossibly vast fortune, by far the wealthiest man of his time, Cornelius "Commodore" Vanderbilt is an American icon. In this definitive life of the great capitalist, we see Vanderbilt help to launch the transportation revolution, propel the Gold Rush, reshape Manhattan, and invent the modern corporation. In fact, as T. J. Stiles elegantly argues, Vanderbilt did more than perhaps any other individual to create the economic world we live in today.

"A mighty - and mighty confident - work...This is state-of-the-art biography, crisper and more piquant than a 600-page book has any right to be." -- The New York Times

"Stiles, a superb researcher, has unearthed quantities of new material and crafted them into the illuminating, authoritative portrait of Vanderbilt that has been missing for so long." -- The Washington Post

This event is jointly funded by the Friends of the Darien Library and Barrett Bookstore and the author's appearance made possible by Barrett Bookstore.

A book signing will follow the presentation. Books will be available for purchase.

Refreshments will be served.

T.J. Stiles' visit mid-May will be a great treat. We hope that you'll join us!

Additional parking for evening and weekend Library programs on Thorndal Circle (behind Nielsen’s).

To learn more about upcoming events at the Library, please click here.