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Hershey: Milton S. Hershey's Extraordinary…

Hershey: Milton S. Hershey's Extraordinary Life of Wealth, Empire, and…

by Michael D'Antonio

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Extraordinary life is right. Hershey was present at the Columbian Expedition in Chicago and the Centennial in Philadelphia. He worked in Denver, Chicago, Philadelphia and New York City, failing at every turn, before moving back to the Lancaster area where he was born to open his caramel factory. Fortunately he moved on to chocolate and a fortune and juggernaut was born.
Unfortunately he died and the juggernaut cracked at the seams. The Orphans School was the sole owner of the Hershey stock and as such reaped much more money than they could ever spend. The board wanted to break the trust and sell the stock which tore the town apart. Not a fitting ending, which could have been prevented by some smarter planning on M.S. Hershey's part. Stay tuned.
I learned so much and found the book to read like a novel. Dense with facts, it never bogged down or became overwhelming. I thoroughly enjoyed it and now want to visit to see for myself what so many others have enjoyed. ( )
  book58lover | May 20, 2014 |
An interesting book, which often focuses more on Hershey's accomplishments as a town-builder and patron of orphans than on the building of the chocolate business. I would have liked for some of the people to come alive more (Hershey does, and his wife, but rarely others). But they don't seem to have left behind much personal information, whereas the town of Hershey is well-documented. ( )
  teaperson | May 27, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 074326410X, Paperback)

The name Hershey evokes many things: chocolate bars, the company town in Pennsylvania, one of America's most recognizable brands. But who was the man behind the name? In this compelling biography, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Michael D'Antonio gives us the real-life rags-to-riches story of Milton S. Hershey, a largely uneducated businessman whose idealistic sense of purpose created an immense financial empire, a town, and a legacy that lasts to this day.

Hershey, the son of a minister's daughter and an irresponsible father who deserted the family, began his career inauspiciously when the two candy shops he opened both went bankrupt. Undeterred, he started the Lancaster Caramel Company, which brought him success at last. Eventually he sold his caramel operation and went on to perfect the production process of chocolate to create a stable, consistent bar with a long shelf life...and an American icon was born.

Hershey was more than a successful businessman -- he was a progressive thinker who believed in capitalism as a means to higher goals. He built the world's largest chocolate factory and a utopian village for his workers on a large tract of land in rural Pennsylvania, and used his own fortune to keep his workers employed during the Great Depression. In addition, he secretly willed his fortune to a boys' school and orphanage, both of which now control a vast endowment.

Extensively researched and vividly written, Hershey is the fascinating story of this uniquely American visionary.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:08 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Examines the life and achievements of the head of the chocolate factory empire, describing his fatherless upbringing by a strict Mennonite mother, his failures with two early candy companies, and his construction of the utopian Hershey village.

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