Bloomberg Reporter Susan Berfield ‘86 on the Classic Confrontation That Defined a Presidency
The White House Versus Wall Street: Teddy Roosevelt and the surprising ways his legacy mirrors the U.S. today
The Brown Club of New York invites you to join a conversation with Bloomberg reporter and author, Susan Berfield '86, and her editor, Ben Hyman ’11, as they discuss Teddy Roosevelt’s brinkmanship facing J.P. Morgan and the monopolies scoffing at government oversight. In her new book, Berfield reveals what links a president, a banker, a national emergency brought on by a coal strike, a groundbreaking railroad antitrust case, and a public enthralled with a leader who cares about them. With colorful detail, Berfield traces Roosevelt’s unexpected rise to power and his fight for democracy at a time of dramatic imbalance of wealth between the titans of industry and the majority of Americans, discovering unexpected parallels to the country today.
Praise for The Hour of Fate: Theodore Roosevelt, J.P. Morgan, and the Battle to Transform American Capitalism:
“The story of the frenemy-ship between John Pierpont Morgan and Theodore Roosevelt… Her story is about the past but also very much about the present, as our own Gilded Age raises old questions about inequality, plutocracy and what Roosevelt once called “that most dangerous of all classes, the wealthy criminal class… the book may make you both sad and mad, because it serves as a poignant, painful reminder of what a real leader does.” The Washington Post
“The Hour of Fate is a tale of greed, power, and accountability, an epic story of a clash of titans, one a political dynamo, the other unparalleled in business savvy... Today, as the United States barrels its way into the 21st century, with business behemoths like Amazon and Apple treading in the footsteps of Morgan’s Northern Securities, one can only wonder when and where the next trustbuster will arise." New York Journal of Books
Susan Berfield ’86 is an award-winning investigative reporter for Bloomberg Businessweek and Bloomberg News, where she has covered some of America’s largest corporations. She has been interviewed on PBS NewsHour, NPR’s All Things Considered, Marketplace, On Point, and elsewhere. Her research for The Hour of Fate, her first book, took her to archives in New York, St. Paul, Washington, D.C., and Cambridge, MA, and was supported by a Logan Nonfiction Fellowship. Concentrating in Psychology, Susan helped start Brown’s Holistic Health House, lived in Nepal for a semester and let her roommate talk her into joining crew! After concocting a plan with a dear friend to share the Arnold Fellowship if either won it, they did – and then used it to direct a documentary in India together. Susan lives in Brooklyn with her family.
Ben Hyman '11 is Senior Editor for nonfiction at Bloomsbury. Beginning at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, among the books Hyman acquired and edited were Norman Ohler’s bestseller Blitzed: Drugs in the Third Reich and economist Thomas Piketty’s Why Save the Bankers? Since joining Bloomsbury in 2017, he has worked on titles including Isaac Butler and Dan Kois’s oral history of Angels in America, The World Only Spins Forward, named a top book of the year by NPR and New York Magazine, and William Dalrymple’s The Anarchy, which Barack Obama listed among his favorite books of 2019.
Are you already ready to read? Order The Hour of Fate: Theodore Roosevelt, J.P. Morgan, and the Battle to Transform American Capitalism: