When the Astors Owned New York: Blue Bloods and Grand Hotels in a Gilded Age

A sophomoric effort at history. I haven’t read anything else by Kaplan (nor plan to now) but his method of story telling leaves much to be desired. Huge boulders were rained upon our heads early on that made no sense and that showed their grizzly faces later in the book; poor editing/planning/writing?
Saw this one at Powell’s books and thought I’d take it for a ride. Who doesn’t like the Gilded Age? I don’t, apparently, when it’s a poorly formed book. It’s as if Kaplan had the pieces to write a good article and then blew hot air into it to inflate it into a book, but was obsessed with including every tiny factoid he’d uncovered as a reliable interesting fact.
Guess what, the Astors were rich! They built hotels! One of ’em died in the Titanic sinking after hooking up with a teenager half his age! The other cousin tried to buy an English title (and succeeded). Yay money! Only money is quite boring, and Kaplan churns out a tale that is cobbled together by bits of sometimes extremely unrelated history. AVOID.
Also seeds of the current VC-frenzy? Noting what these never-need-to-work dudes did, they create so many worthless “apps” like the improved bike brake, a “rain-inducer”, a “pneumatic road-improver”, a “suction-cup system mounted on the legs of deck chairs to keep them from sliding in heavy weather.” Solve the 1% problem you have and the 99% will make you rich?