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Across fortune's tracks : a biography of William Rand Kenan, Jr. /
Walter E. Campbell.
imprint
Chapel Hill : University of North Carolina Press, c1996.
description
xvi, 417 p. : ill., map ; 25 cm.
ISBN
080782268X (cloth : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Chapel Hill : University of North Carolina Press, c1996.
isbn
080782268X (cloth : alk. paper)
catalogue key
1792475
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 387-401) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1996-10-01:
Campbell offers a balanced assessment of William Rand Kenan Jr. that clearly presents the complicated business activities and intricate family relations of the Kenan family. Kenan graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1894. While a student, he played an important role in discovering calcium carbide, used in making acetylene. Kenan planned to become a scientist but became a consultant for Henry M. Flagler, the Standard Oil magnate and Florida railroad and hotel developer, and assumed an increasingly powerful position in the Flagler empire after his sister, Mary Lily, married Flagler in 1901. Campbell argues that this business relationship and the label as "Flagler's brother-in-law" was a source of frustration for Kenan; he wanted to establish success outside this connection. While Kenan managed the Flagler empire, he successfully ran a company in Lockport, New York, for 60 years and conducted scientific work on a dairy research farm he developed, but he remained in Flagler's shadow. Kenan is best known as a major benefactor to the University of North Carolina. Campbell's richly textured narrative is based on extensive research in the Kenan family papers, interviews, and company records. All levels. R. M. Hyser James Madison University
Reviews
Review Quotes
A superb study of an individual who quietly helped to shape the economic history of Florida in the twentieth century.Florida Historical Quarterly
A superb study of an individual who quietly helped to shape the economic history of Florida in the twentieth century. Florida Historical Quarterly
A well-balanced biography.Filson Club History Quarterly
A well-balanced biography. Filson Club History Quarterly
"A well-crafted and well-documented biography of William R. Kenan Jr. (1872-1965)Journal of American History
"A well-crafted and well-documented biography of William R. Kenan Jr. (1872-1965) Journal of American History
Campbell offers a balanced assessment of William Rand Kenan Jr. . . . Richly textured narrative.Choice
Campbell offers a balanced assessment of William Rand Kenan Jr. . . . Richly textured narrative. Choice
The fairest and best balanced account of the Bingham-Kenan story that I have read.Joseph Frazier Wall, author ofAlfred I. du Pont: The Man and His Family
The fairest and best balanced account of the Bingham-Kenan story that I have read. Joseph Frazier Wall, author of Alfred I. du Pont: The Man and His Family
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, October 1996
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Main Description
William Rand Kenan Jr. (1872-1965) is best remembered throughout his native North Carolina as a major benefactor of his alma mater, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. But he was also a gifted scientist and business executive. In this first comprehensive biography, Walter Campbell charts Kenan's achievements in areas as diverse as chemistry, dairy science, media management, and railroad and resort development. While still a student at UNC, Kenan played an important role in the discovery of calcium carbide_the major component in the manufacture of acetylene_which led to the formation of Union Carbide Company. He later created the nation's largest and most advanced private dairy research farm at his home in Lockport, New York. In 1899, he became a consultant to Standard Oil cofounder and Florida developer Henry Morrison Flagler, who later married Kenan's sister Mary Lily. Following Flagler's death in 1913, Kenan successfully guided the vast network of Flagler businesses, as well as his own flourishing enterprises, through a tumultuous period that saw two world wars, a speculative land boom, and a depression. This biography offers new insights into Kenan's many successes as well as his disappointments, particularly his keen sense of having lived his life in the shadow of others. It also includes the first objective account of the widely reported rift between the Kenans and the family of Mary Lily's second husband, Robert Worth Bingham.
Main Description
William Rand Kenan Jr. (1872-1965) is best remembered throughout his native North Carolina as a major benefactor of his alma mater, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. But he was also a gifted scientist and business executive. In this first comprehensive biography, Walter Campbell charts Kenan's achievements in areas as diverse as chemistry, dairy science, media management, and railroad and resort development. While still a student at UNC, Kenan played an important role in the discovery of calcium carbide--the major component in the manufacture of acetylene--which led to the formation of Union Carbide Company. He later created the nation's largest and most advanced private dairy research farm at his home in Lockport, New York. In 1899, he became a consultant to Standard Oil cofounder and Florida developer Henry Morrison Flagler, who later married Kenan's sister Mary Lily. Following Flagler's death in 1913, Kenan successfully guided the vast network of Flagler businesses, as well as his own flourishing enterprises, through a tumultuous period that saw two world wars, a speculative land boom, and a depression. This biography offers new insights into Kenan's many successes as well as his disappointments, particularly his keen sense of having lived his life in the shadow of others. It also includes the first objective account of the widely reported rift between the Kenans and the family of Mary Lily's second husband, Robert Worth Bingham.
Main Description
William Rand Kenan Jr. (1872-1965) is best remembered throughout his native North Carolina as a major benefactor of his alma mater, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. But he was also a gifted scientist and business executive. In this first comprehensive biography, Walter Campbell charts Kenan's achievements in areas as diverse as chemistry, dairy science, media management, and railroad and resort development.While still a student at UNC, Kenan played an important role in the discovery of calcium carbide-the major component in the manufacture of acetylene-which led to the formation of Union Carbide Company. He later created the nation's largest and most advanced private dairy research farm at his home in Lockport, New York. In 1899, he became a consultant to Standard Oil cofounder and Florida developer Henry Morrison Flagler, who later married Kenan's sister Mary Lily. Following Flagler's death in 1913, Kenan successfully guided the vast network of Flagler businesses, as well as his own flourishing enterprises, through a tumultuous period that saw two world wars, a speculative land boom, and a depression.This biography offers new insights into Kenan's many successes as well as his disappointments, particularly his keen sense of having lived his life in the shadow of others. It also includes the first objective account of the widely reported rift between the Kenans and the family of Mary Lily's second husband, Robert Worth Bingham.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgmentsp. xiii
The Kenans of North Carolinap. 3
The Crucible of Fortunep. 34
The Ins and Outs of Uncp. 49
Calcium Carbide and Acetylenep. 75
The Columbus of Carbidep. 103
For Better or Worsep. 138
Mary Lily and Her Familiesp. 161
Between the Tracksp. 191
Up and Down the Linep. 209
War on the Empirep. 237
Shared Knowledge and Self-Esteemp. 259
Incidents and the Warp. 285
A Place to Come Top. 303
Disembarkingp. 320
Notesp. 333
Bibliographyp. 387
Indexp. 403
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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