Amazon.com Review The Reichmanns' astonishing saga began in Hungary and swept through Austria, France, and North Africa before achieving apotheosis in Canada, where the secretive, ultra-orthodox Jewish family founded Olympia & York Development, the greatest real estate empire in the world at its peak in the 1980s. The company's collapse into bankruptcy in 1992 is a modern cautionary tale of biblical proportions, rendered by business journalist Anthony Bianco in lavish detail backed by formidable research. Interviews with various family members enable the author to plumb personalities as well as profit motives; their decision to cooperate is justified by his careful fairness. Read more From Booklist A decade ago, the Reichmanns of Toronto were ranked as one of the 10 wealthiest families in the world. Olympia & York, the five brothers' flagship real estate company, had major developments throughout the world. The story of 0 & Y's collapse has already been told well by Peter Foster in Towers of Debt: The Rise and Fall of the Reichmanns (1993) and by Walter Stewart in Too Big to Fail: Olympia & York, the Story behind the Headlines (1993). Both of those authors sketched in details of the Reichmann family history, but Bianco delves deep into the Reichmann genealogy, beginning during the 'golden age of Hungarian Jewry' in the 1600s. He chronicles how the family prospered, first as egg merchants in Vienna and then, after fleeing the Nazis to Tangier, as currency traders. The Reichmanns are ultra-Orthodox Jews, and Bianco focuses on their beliefs, showing how they were able to balance their insular life in Toronto with the demands of a worldwide real estate empire. David Rouse Read more See all Editorial Reviews
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