John Mackay, Silver King in the Gilded Age, by Michael J. Makley
“From the early 1870s until his death in 1902, John Mackay was among the richest men in the world and was one of the wealthiest men to emerge from Nevada’s Comstock Lode. Author Michael J. Makley explores how, from his beginnings as a poor Irish immigrant, John Mackay developed a strong work ethic that distinguished him from the rest of his life. He came west to seek his fortune in the California Gold Rush and then moved to Virginia City, Nevada, where he dealt with mining stocks and operated silver mines.
John Mackay offers new insight into the life and achievements of this remarkable man. It also places Mackay in the broader context of his time, showing that he stood out, not only for his contributions to Nevada and mining history, but also for his reputation as an important business leader fighting the consolidation and venality of corporate power in the Gilded Age. His actions freed the Comstock from a financial monopoly, resulting in moderated rates for the milling, timber, shipping, transportation, and water that made mining possible and precipitated the discovery and development of the one field known as the “Big Bonanza.”
Makley’s book recounts the life and career of one of the most successful men of his age, a capitalist of immense wealth who generously helped those around him and worked diligently in the public interest.”
Page count: 270