The Gilded Leaf

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The Gilded Leaf by Tom Shachtman & Patrick ReynoldsTHE GILDED LEAF: TRIUMPH, TRAGEDY, AND TOBACCO: Three Generations of the R. J. Reynolds Family and Fortune, by Patrick Reynolds and Tom Shachtman

THE GILDED LEAF is the riveting, dramatic saga of the R. J. Reynolds tobacco family, one of America’s richest and most intensely private clans.

R.J. was the original founder of the company that became part of RJR Nabisco, which in 1988 was involved in the largest business takeover in history.

Spanning three generations, the Reynolds story moves from the triumphs of founder and corporate genius R. J. to the dissipation, scandal, and tragedy of his children, Dick and Smith, and to the difficulties and inherited money that plagued and enabled his six grandsons.

There is a redemptive close to the story, when grandson Patrick Reynolds becomes a leading anti-smoking advocate.

THE GILDED LEAF presents a complete account of the family who captured, spent — and eventually reclaimed — the American dream.

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“Fascinating…Illuminating…stunning detail.” Chicago Tribune

“Fascinating insight into the evolution of a family over three generations that is simply a good read…panoramic sweep, bitter irony and tragic touches.”Detroit Free Press

“Fascinating insider’s view of three generations of the R. J. Reynolds tobacco family…compelling.” Richmond Times-Dispatch

“An altogether fascinating story [that] quickly builds speed and interest and becomes an absorbing story of fortune and misfortune.” Washington Post Book World

“Readers of this captivating account may need to remind themselves that it is not fiction. There are colorful characters, a family rising from humble beginnings to attain fabulous wealth and power, scandal and tragedy wrought by excess—and an irony-laden finale.” Publishers Weekly

“A courageous and worthwhile book. More than an entertainment, it documents the danger of parents who confuse money with love.” New York Times

“Fiction doesn’t get any better than this. It’s the kind of true-life story Hollywood scriptwriters dream about — murder, mayhem, messy divorces, titillating escapades of a tobacco dynasty, souls bared to the tabloids, racing through life in the fast lane…The Reynolds family makes TV’s ‘Dynasty’ look downright hokey.” The Washington Times

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