Husband read this to me the other night. It is from Ron Chernow’s biography of Ulysses S. Grant. He is describing a 19th century railroad baron. Remind you of anyone we know?
With his handsome blond mustache, bloated frame, and diamond rings, the flashy Jim Fisk was the antithesis of the saturnine Gould. The son of a Vermont peddler, he collected prostitutes and chorus girls no less promiscuously than he bought railroads and steamships and exulted in the attention his flamboyance aroused. Such was his roguish charm that people were captivated even as they were horrified by his total lack of scruples. As George Templeton Strong sketched him: ‘Illiterate, vulgar, unprincipled, profligate, always making himself conspicuously ridiculous by some piece of flagrant ostentation, he was, nevertheless, freehanded with his stolen money, and possessed, moreover, a certain magnetism of geniality that attracted to him people who were not particular about the decency of their associates ‘. Chernow, R. (2017), p 673. Grant. Penguin Press: New York.
The more things change, the more they stay the same. What trends from the past would you like to see again?