Canceled: American Disruptor: The Scandalous Life of Leland Stanford

Book Talk and Signing



Tuesday, May 26, 2020 6:00PM

<em>Canceled: American Disruptor: The Scandalous Life of Leland Stanford</em>
<p>Book Talk and Signing</p>
Tickets are now Sold Out








Where: California Historical Society Headquarters, 678 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94105

Cost: $12 General Admission, Free for CHS Members, plus one guest per membership.

American Disruptor is the untold story of Leland Stanford – from his birth in a backwoods bar to the founding of the world-class university that became and remains the nucleus of Silicon Valley. The life of this robber baron, politician, and historic influencer is the astonishing tale of how one supremely ambitious man became this country's original "disruptor" – reshaping industry and engineering one of the greatest raids on the public treasury for America’s transcontinental railroad, all while living more opulently than maharajas, kings, and emperors.

It is also the saga of how Stanford, once a serial failure, overcame all obstacles to become one of America’s most powerful and wealthiest men, using his high elective office to enrich himself before losing the one thing that mattered most to him – his only child and son. Scandal and intrigue would follow Stanford through his life, and even after his death, when his widow was murdered in a Honolulu hotel – a crime quickly covered up by the almost stillborn university she had saved. Richly detailed and deeply researched, American Disruptor restores Leland Stanford’s rightful place as a revolutionary force and architect of modern America.

Books will be available for sale.

About the Speaker:

Roland De Wolk is a U.C. Berkeley educated historian who left academia for a career in journalism, then returned to teach at a San Francisco Bay Area university as an adjunct while retaining his prize-winning investigative reporting work. He is the author of American Disruptor: The Scandalous Life of Leland Stanford (UC Press, Autumn 2019), praised by a renowned academic historian and a Pulitzer-prize winning journalist for being “deeply researched,” and a “rollicking biography.” Part of a new breed of historians, Roland De Wolk alloys the disciplines of serious, documented history with vivid, relevant storytelling for unusually strong, enduring and arresting sagas.