In Frances Dinkelspiel's groundbreaking history, the early days of California are seen through the lens of the life of one man, Isaias Hellman, California's premier money-man of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Hellman's story captures a pivotal moment in American history: the rise of California from a frontier economy driven by the barter of hides and the exchange of gold dust to an economic steam engine leading the nation. Starting in the days when Los Angeles was more Mexican pueblo than American city, and continuing throught the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire and World War I, Towers of Gold follows the life of the Jewish financer who was instrumental in developing the banking, oil, transportation, education, water, and wine industries of the Pacific Coast. It also tells the little-known story of the contribution of Jews to the development of the West.
With cameos by Collis Huntington, Henry Huntington, Meyer Lehman, Edward Doheney, Harrison Gray Otis, Edward Harriman, and Levi Strauss, Towers of Gold is rich with assasination attempts, stagecoach robberies, family betrayals, and magnificant mansions.