Bank failures. Home foreclosures. Labor unrest. Government corruption.

One farm boy saw it all, and rose to leadership of the country's largest bank, creating controversy still hotly debated.

Frank Vanderlip's story is as fresh as the morning news. Instead, it begins during the Civil War, runs through the frenzy of the Roaring Twenties, and confronts the same problems the country still faces.

In a world where privilege and background matter, how does a man who started out in farmer's overalls get a position of power, and how does he use it?

Vicki Mack is the first author to investigate the complete life of a man who was famous in his own day and has become somewhat lost to modern times. She used original sources from during Frank Vanderlip's lifetime, including his own writings, archival newspapers and photos, and never-published information supplied by the son of his right-hand man. But she also delved further into the time period, examining all the forces that led an ambitious young man to become the leading banker of the early 20th Century and an innovator who created many of banking's underlying principals still in use today. The resulting book contains over 300 photographs, not only of Frank Vanderlip, but related images that illuminate his world.