By Patricia Beard
After the Ball is that infrequent precise tale that reads like an epic novel, a sweeping chronicle of an period, and an intimate account of the desire and betrayal of a son whose father gave him every thing -- other than the learning to discover his method in territory governed through the rapacious.James Hazen Hyde used to be twenty-three in 1899 while he inherited the bulk stocks within the billion-dollar Equitable lifestyles coverage Society. merely 5 years later, he fell from grace in a Wall highway scandal that obsessed the state and commanded a hundred and fifteen front-page articles within the long island Times.Hyde was once clever, cultured, and bold, yet he used to be no fit for an older iteration that had mapped the backstreets of excessive finance. Vying to regulate the Equitable's immense funding pool, the main recognized financiers and industrialists of the period -- between them E. H. Harriman, Henry Clay Frick, and J. P. Morgan -- positioned Hyde on forty-eight forums and incorporated him in bargains 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 social gathering because the hook to hold him on, claiming that he used to be too frivolous to run a firm devoted to preserving widows and orphans; and unfold the rumor that he had spent 2 hundred thousand money of Equitable cash on a night's leisure. by the point a central authority research confirmed that Hyde had paid the accounts himself, his attractiveness used to be ruined.The sour crusade to wrest keep watch over of the Equitable and its substantial funding capability from Hyde at the heels of the ball. because the struggle escalated, clandestine alliances among insurers and Wall highway burst to the skin, exposing innovations 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 hundreds of thousands of american citizens a century in the past. Its issues 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 environment of beauty, extra, and corrupting glamour.
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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 desire and betrayal of a son whose father gave him every thing -- other than the educational to discover his means in territory governed by way of the rapacious. James Hazen Hyde was once twenty-three in 1899 whilst he inherited the bulk stocks within the billion-dollar Equitable lifestyles insurance Society.
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Additional resources for After the Ball: Gilded Age Secrets, Boardroom Betrayals, and the Party That Ignited the Great Wall Street Scandal of 1905
The French club, the Cercle Français, aroused his interest and then an overriding enthusiasm, and he was elected president in his junior and senior years. When the club gave its annual French plays, James asked his father’s secretary, William McIntyre, to encourage newspapers in New York and Boston to cover the performances. In his senior year, he used money from his trust fund to pay for a series of lectures by Réné Doumic, an important French author, and held a series of dinners for him. His ﬁnal gesture as an undergraduate was to establish a French-American 10 James, 1876–1899 45 exchange of professors; the $30,000 endowment was a gift from Henry, but the idea and organization were James’s, and earned him his ﬁrst Légion d’Honneur in 1900.
She was once the wife of a policyholder in the Equitable; the policy lapsed, and he died; but her piteous pleadings so affected the tender heart of Mr. Hyde, that he purchased the farm aforesaid, installed her as mistress, and on its income she is enabled to live with comfort, educate her children, and ﬁt them to become worthy representatives of their putative father, A Life: Henry, 1859–1899 31 never forgetting to instill in their minds the beneﬁcence of life insurance. 10 There was no evidence that the allegation had any basis in fact, but the story spread.
The Equitable was the ﬁrst large insurance company to train its agents; Henry hounded them with personal letters, even when he had thousands of men and women working for him, and to be sure he saw them all, he convened what may have been the ﬁrst sales conference. Even the perceived will of the Almighty did not deter him. He fought the prejudice that taking out life insurance was a sign that the purchaser did not trust in God’s beneﬁcence, hiring the famous preacher, the Reverend Henry Ward Beecher, to write promotional columns for his magazine, Our Mutual Friend.