Mooning the Future


Source of book image:

In an ideal world, a famous railroad mogul like Cornelius Vanderbilt, would be a consistent defender of technological progress. But moguls can differ in their motives and are not always consistent. Consider the following from a new biography of Vanderbilt:

(p. D9) The arrival a few years earlier of the first steamships, clanking loudly and belching flames and smoke, provoked scorn from sailors, who waved their hats in condescension and “sometimes also turned their backs, bent down, and revealed their bare ends to the dignified ladies and gentleman who had paid lofty prices to flirt with the future. Cornelius sometimes made such a salute.”

For the full review, see:
JULIA FLYNN SILER. “The Tides of Fortune.” The Wall Street Journal
(Weds., December 19, 2007): D9.

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