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American Empress: The Life and Times of Marjorie Merriweather Post

3.93  ·  Rating Details ·  269 Ratings  ·  32 Reviews
American Empress is a sweeping history of the dramatic life of heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post, daughter of breakfast-cereal magnate C. W. Post. As a young girl growing up in the Midwest, Marjorie Post helped glue cereal boxes in her father's barn, later became a board member of his company, wed a diplomat and by late middle age was widely acknowledged as the unofficial ...more
Paperback, 484 pages
Published January 4th 2004 by iUniverse (first published January 31st 1995)
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Tammy Mannarino
Jun 13, 2013 Tammy Mannarino rated it it was amazing
In honor of a very fun "girl trip" to Hillwood!
Ethnea Ferguson
Dec 31, 2013 Ethnea Ferguson rated it it was ok
I almost gave this a 3 - BUT - in 484 pages, the book - which is supposed to be about the first woman to serve on a corporate board of directors and supposedly has a keen business acumen - only mentions one single business decision - (no spoiler)- does not go into any corporate decisions or controversies - never mentions what contributions this supposed "business acumen" made to General Foods - however - does describe in lengthly detail one of her husbands service as ambassador to Russia and his ...more
Jun 17, 2017 Katherine rated it liked it
I've been reading this for months. It was fascinating at times, but towards the middle/end seemed to drift from interesting to an accounting of the various was she spent her money. It also seemed extremely favorable to Marjorie Merriweather Post--this books suggests she was universal adored and had no flaws.
Cynthia Haggard
Oct 06, 2011 Cynthia Haggard rated it really liked it
Marjorie Merriweather Post (1887-1973) led a long and interesting life that encompassed two world wars, three daughters and four marriages. I generally do not enjoy reading biography as too often it can be a dry recital of the trivia of someone’s life, but I have to say that Nancy Rubin in her biography of Mrs. Post, titled AMERICAN EMPRESS, has done a wonderful job in making it interesting. There was much I did not know about Mrs. Post. I didn’t realize that she grew up in Battle Creek Michigan ...more
May 02, 2010 Pam rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I will never eat Grape Nuts again without thinking about Marjorie Merriweather Post. To say this book was engrossing really doesn't do it justice. I expected the typical gossipy, socialite biography of one of the wealthiest women in the 20th century (and I wasn't disappointed), but it was so much more. Nancy Rubin Stuart does an amazing job of painting a sweeping, panoramic view of American Midwestern life and the burgeoning industrialization of the United States. She puts Post's family fortune ...more
Gina Basham
May 10, 2014 Gina Basham rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The amount of first hand information was staggering. The personal anecdotes and correspondence was overwhelming. The book was extremely well researched and easy to follow.

The subject herself was a fascinating woman. That era in American history is hard to image but Nancy Stuart paints an extraordinary picture. The lives of the early American industrialist are compelling. How they started. How they lived. Their families and their lives. The opulence and decadence of that era is staggering. In thi
Jan 03, 2016 Ken rated it it was amazing
I read this book after touring Hillwood in Washington, DC - Marjorie's primary home in her later years, and became fascinated by her life and her story. This book covers it all - from her early years, with her parents, to a glamorous, although at times tumultuous, life of wealth, privilege and social status. Based on this book, she would've been someone I would've wanted to meet, to get to know, and to be friends with - she was an honest but very passionate woman when it came to her personal val ...more
Jun 09, 2011 Margaret rated it really liked it
Recommended to Margaret by: My mother-in-law
I received a tune up on my American history and politics from World War 1 until the 1980's as I followed this fascinating woman's life. Starting out helping her father glue stickers on Postum in their garage, she rose to the top levels of influence and access aided by the money from Post cereals and the force of her determined personality. She traveled the world and met people in the highest levels of power both here and abroad. From an early age used her money and influence for the greater good ...more
Aug 27, 2016 Denise rated it really liked it
If you've ever been to DC's Hillwood Museum and found yourself intrigued by the life story of its owner, Marjorie Merriweather Post, you will find this book an interesting read. Marjorie was the sole heir to the Post cereal fortune. In an era when women were barred from the highest echelons of the corporate world, she still found ways to significantly influence the growing company. The personal, social and philanthropic sides of her life were no less influential than her business savvy. A fascin ...more
Sara VA
Feb 13, 2016 Sara VA rated it really liked it
Great biography of Marjorie Merriweather Post. Some sections got a bit long-winded, but excellent read and fascinating to imagine the lifestyle. Made me want to visit Hillwood Museum.
Highly recommend for fans of 20th century history, biography readers, those interested in "American Royalty", etc... if you love reading about the Rockefellers, the Astors, the Vanderbuilts, etc. this book should be added to your collection.
Oct 28, 2012 Lesley rated it liked it
Enjoyed this book a great deal, was interested in it as a resul of visiting Hillwood with my aunt years ago.. Beautiful collections of Faberge eggs and entertaining space and pantries that were awesome. It was interesting o learn more about her 4 husbands and her relationships with her children and step-children.
Rives Hotra
Nov 23, 2015 Rives Hotra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having just visited Marjorie Post's Hillwood Estate, reading this biography on her life was particularly intriguing. Her life and times are a history lesson in themselves. While this writing is likely a forgiving look at her life and persona, Mrs. Post led a truly amazing life. Her philanthropy, business acumen and love of art and collecting are likely never to be repeated on this level.
Tracy Jenkins
Oct 23, 2016 Tracy Jenkins rated it really liked it
Absolutely fascinating book the daughter of the man who invested the cereal industry - C.W. Post. Marjorie became one of the wealthiest women in the world & her life is just fascinating. A great read about entrepreneurs, religion, money, politics, home building and power. Very fun. The writing itself was not terrific -but the content was great.
Oct 13, 2013 Carrie rated it really liked it
Enjoyed reading this biography; I've toured her mansion/museum in DC a few times and just think that era is very interesting. The book starts with some background of her parents and takes the reader to Marjorie's end. She was certainly a woman of much success and gave a lot back to communities, people and causes.
Suzette Tanen
Jan 25, 2016 Suzette Tanen rated it liked it
I would have given this another star but the writing wasn't amazing and certain details repeated too often. However, after seeing Hillwood estate in DC I wanted to learn more about Marjorie Merriweather Post, and I really did learn a lot about her from this book. Next time I hope to visit the mansion in the spring to see the gardens, which I hear are spectacular.
Jan 06, 2017 Teresa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: autobiography
I loved this book. I'm not into books about the rich and famous but this one is really good. Her father was an amazing man and she was his only child. She didn't just rest on her laurels (athough she only married rich men) and she made her own mark on the world. I loved all the detail about how she built Mar-A-Lago - now our new president elect Donald Trump's home.
I'm on page 218 of 445 of American Empress: beginning of chapter 18.

Did not finish. Majorie Merriweather Post is interesting, but not someone to emulate. She did many generous things, but her life also centered around material things.
Apr 07, 2013 Pedalmusic rated it liked it
I read this book in preparation for a tour of Hillwood, Ms Post's DC estate. I thoroughly enjoyed the story of her life although the writing was average at best. Marjorie Meriweather Post was an incredible woman and anyone visiting DC should tour her fabulous home and gardens
Rosemary Weymouth
Good read

I liked her strength and ability to carry on thru all her trials and tribulations. She was a good steward of her father's legacy.
Aug 19, 2014 Melissa rated it really liked it
Shelves: biographies
Good read; It captures the times as I have read in other books. Historical and easy to read.
Sep 05, 2012 Lauren rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I loved this book so much. It's a really fascinating and inspiring story of an incredible woman. It makes me even prouder and happier to work where I do!
Feb 10, 2016 Alicia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting and face paced!
Aug 07, 2012 Ronald rated it really liked it

Fascinating! Thought this book might end up being a piece of fluff but it provided a lot of very interesting info about this amazing woman and her times.
Jul 29, 2012 Donna rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography
Fantastic biography! I can't read fast enough. What an amazing woman! Riveting.
Jan 19, 2010 Marie rated it it was amazing
Excellent Biograsphy of Marjorie Merriweather Post. Well written and easy to read. Throughly enjoyed the history, detail and story of the socialite and businesswoman.
L Nelson
May 27, 2013 L Nelson rated it liked it
Interesting Biography of a woman who led an incredible life. Got bogged down in detail but I found her to be an interesting character.
Apr 17, 2016 Tracy rated it it was ok
kind of shallow. after finishing I have the sense that there is a lot more to know about MMP. writing was pretty pedestrian.
Mrs. Scott
Jul 09, 2014 Mrs. Scott rated it really liked it
A terrific book about a remarkable woman.
Carol Frazer
Aug 09, 2008 Carol Frazer rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book and learned how much she donated to our society.
John Ancona
Mar 15, 2015 John Ancona rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

An extraordinary look back at a slice of American history and the unconditional philanthropic efforts by multiple generations of American royalty.
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Nancy Rubin Stuart is an award-winning author and journalist who specializes in women, biography and social history.

A graduate of Tufts University with a B.A. in English and an M.A.T. from Brown University, Nancy holds an honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Mount Vernon College, now part of Georgetown University.

Nancy just won the 2009 Historic Winslow House Book Award on behalf of her lat
More about Nancy Rubin Stuart...

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