By Patricia Beard
After the Ball is that infrequent real tale that reads like an epic novel, a sweeping chronicle of an period, and an intimate account of the wish and betrayal of a son whose father gave him every little thing -- other than the learning to discover his means in territory governed via the rapacious.James Hazen Hyde used to be twenty-three in 1899 whilst he inherited the bulk stocks within the billion-dollar Equitable existence insurance Society. simply 5 years later, he fell from grace in a Wall road scandal that obsessed the state and commanded one hundred fifteen front-page articles within the long island Times.Hyde was once clever, cultured, and impressive, yet he used to be no fit for an older new release that had mapped the backstreets of excessive finance. Vying to manage the Equitable's mammoth funding pool, the main recognized financiers and industrialists of the period -- between them E. H. Harriman, Henry Clay Frick, and J. P. Morgan -- placed Hyde on forty-eight forums and integrated him in offers that shook Wall highway. after which, on the top of social good fortune, he made a deadly miscalculation.On the final evening of January 1905, James Hyde held a fabulously flamboyant, eighteenth-century, Versailles-themed dress ball. His enemies used the celebration because the hook to hold him on, claiming that he used to be too frivolous to run an organization devoted to retaining widows and orphans; and unfold the rumor that he had spent 200 thousand money of Equitable funds on a night's leisure. by the point a central authority research proven that Hyde had paid the accounts himself, his attractiveness used to be ruined.The sour crusade to wrest keep an eye on of the Equitable and its colossal funding potential from Hyde at the heels of the ball. because the struggle escalated, clandestine alliances among insurers and Wall road burst to the skin, exposing thoughts which are the stuff of twenty-first-century scandals: self-dealing, insider buying and selling, accounting malpractice, and company investment of personal pleasures.After the Ball tells a story that riveted thousands of usa citizens a century in the past. Its subject matters are as clean this day as they have been in 1905: greed and chicanery, the wrong love among fathers and sons, and contradictory American attitudes approximately wealth -- all unfolding opposed to a surroundings of beauty, extra, and corrupting glamour.
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Extra resources for After the Ball: Gilded Age Secrets, Boardroom Betrayals, and the Party That Ignited the Great Wall Street Scandal of 1905
This is different than if you hired a private car—this might be “too” tony, but . . better let every one know he’s given you—Buy a big bottle of Powell Estra, bath your feet night and morning and wash your self [sic] a little with it and you will like it. I will make up your menu for dinner and supper and send it to you. How many boys do you expect to go, and who? . A buffet car would be better than a parlor car as you could have a hot cup of tea—I could pick out an extra ﬁne piece of beef and leg of mutton and have them roasted and kept nearly a week .
The Reverend Alexander, whose son, James, would soon come to work at the Equitable, had met Henry nearly ten years earlier when Henry, age sixteen, arrived in the city from upstate New York. Henry’s ﬁrst job was at a dry goods merchant, but he soon moved to the Mutual Life Insurance Company, where his father, Henry Hazen Hyde, was the top agent for the Boston area. The senior Henry Hyde was deeply religious, and his son looked for and found a church, Fifth Avenue Presbyterian, where he attended services and taught Sunday School.
As late as the 1960s, the Equitable historian, Carlyle R. Buley, would write that life insurance is “a materialization of the doctrine of duty . . an instrument of the ethical code practiced by civilized man . . ” The philosophy that, as the historian Alan Trachtenberg explained, “a corporate charter was a privilege to be granted only by a special act of a state legislature, and then for purposes clearly in the public interest,” ﬁt life insurance, and insurers were among the ﬁrst to receive state charters.