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Reader recommendation: The First Tycoon

Monitor readers share their favorite book picks.

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Washington’s Birthday reminded me of The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt by T.J. Stiles. Vanderbilt was born in Washington’s time and met President Lincoln in the White House. He gave his largest steamship to the Union cause and then tried to heal the wounds of the Civil War by giving Nashville, Tenn., its own university.