Empire: A Tale of Obsession, Betrayal, and the Battle for an American Icon

Empire A Tale of Obsession Betrayal and the Battle for an American Icon The world s most famous skyscraper the Empire State Building is an icon as immediately recognizable as the Eiffel Tower the Great Pyramids or the Taj Mahal and for some of the world s most powerful

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  • Title: Empire: A Tale of Obsession, Betrayal, and the Battle for an American Icon
  • Author: Mitchell Pacelle
  • ISBN: 9780471238652
  • Page: 106
  • Format: Paperback
  • The world s most famous skyscraper, the Empire State Building is an icon as immediately recognizable as the Eiffel Tower, the Great Pyramids, or the Taj Mahal and for some of the world s most powerful men, it is the ultimate prize From the day it was erected, it has been the object of obsession for the heads of empires, conjuring their most hidden vices In a riveting chThe world s most famous skyscraper, the Empire State Building is an icon as immediately recognizable as the Eiffel Tower, the Great Pyramids, or the Taj Mahal and for some of the world s most powerful men, it is the ultimate prize From the day it was erected, it has been the object of obsession for the heads of empires, conjuring their most hidden vices In a riveting chronicle of betrayal, revenge, family rivalry, and raw greed, award winning journalist Mitchell Pacelle tells the compelling tale of the history of the Empire State Building and the battle for ownership which reveals the inner workings of a world of powerful, self made men Pacelle brings to life the colorful cast of characters involved a dramatis personae including the most powerful players in the international real estate markets both old and new, including John Raskob and Pierre du Pont alongside Donald Trump, the Helmsleys, Peter Malkin, and the eccentric Japanese billionaire Hideki Yokoi Before the tale is over, Yokoi will accuse his beloved illegitimate daughter of stealing the building from him, several participants will land in jail, one will die suddenly, and a tense legal standoff will leave the landmark in limbo One of the most fascinating characters to emerge from this richly layered story is the building itself, with its legendary romances and suicides, its odd tenants, and the countless human triumphs and tragedies that have been played out within its towering walls.

    One thought on “Empire: A Tale of Obsession, Betrayal, and the Battle for an American Icon”

    1. A bananas look at the saga surrounding Hideki Yokoi's purchase of the Empire State Building. The book lays out the history of the building including how real estate titans Harry Helmsley and Lawrence Wien came to own the leasehold interest in the building. That lease set off a series of events that led to the purchase of the building by Hideki Yokoi, which in turn culminated in a decade-long dispute to answer the question: "who owned the Empire State Building"? It's a quick, fun read.

    2. To be clear, this is not a book about the building of the Empire State Building, the golden age of Manhattan skyscrapers, or anything else like that. It's a quick (I read the abridged edition.) and dirty tour of the feud between Donald Trump, Leona Helmsley, and fiendish Japanese businessman, Hideki Yokoi. (Parroting the summary, I know, but it's a great summary.) It's a fast, fun read. (This statement applies to both the summary and Empire.) I've never followed the Donald, but now I can see th [...]

    3. Not being a New Yorker, I didn't give it much thought about who owned the Empire State Building. As it turns out, Leona Helmsley owned a 100-year lease that a Japanese billionaire and Donald Trump wanted to own by ousting Leona and Co. out by claiming negligence. The Japanese billionaire had an unsavory (Yakuza) past, illegitimate daughter, and sons in a tangled mess of who-owns-what when the billionaire dies. It's all a very nasty business of toy (in the form of expensive real estate) collectio [...]

    4. This was an excellent overview of the battle that took place for ownership/control of the building during the 1980's/ 1990's. The stories can get a tad complex, but in comparison to other factual/historical books I found it easy to read and not bogged down in the minutiae. I found most fascinating the stories of the main players- who reinforce the notion that no matter how much money you have, you still make bad business decisions based on ego/emotion & ignorance. I think this book would hav [...]

    5. Accidentally read an abridged version, but it's hard to imagine how much more enlightening additional detail would have been. Empire is simply the account of the complex legal case that sprung up around the Empire State Building in the 90s. It isn't a boring story, but it isn't particularly fascinating. I found it enlightening to see what modern real estate deals look like, and how relative value is, but that was about it.

    6. This book is an account of the struggle for control of the Empire State Building between Leona Helmsley and Donald Trump and between a disgraced Japanese tycoon and his daughter. Unfortunately, it has more promise than it delivers, since the legal battles all ended up being settled, without a lot of impact on anyone other than the people doing the fighting.

    7. If you enjoy a real life mystery story this is it. Starts with wealthy families in the US, then moves to a family in Japan and ends with a struggle of big names to own the Empire State Building. You don't want to put this one down

    8. great story. interesting to learn that rich New Yorkers can be pushy, greedy and lacking all ethical standards of conduct

    9. "Empire" - written by Mitchell Pacelle and published in 2001 by John Wiley & Sons. An exhaustive history of the Empire State Building.

    10. not a book i would generally pick up and read, however, it was rather interesting to learn who was involved in all the scandel in the battle for this american icon.

    11. Fiction is my favorite reading passtime however the occasional non-fiction catches me up just as well and this book marks one of those occasions.

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