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Mr Five Per Cent: The many lives of Calouste Gulbenkian, the world's richest man
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Jonathan Conlin
Mr Five Per Cent: The many lives of Calouste Gulbenkian, the world's richest man by Jonathan Conlin at Abbey's Bookshop,

Mr Five Per Cent: The many lives of Calouste Gulbenkian, the world's richest man

Jonathan Conlin



Exhibition catalogues & specific collections;
Biography: business & industry;
Biography: arts & entertainment;
Petroleum & oil industries


416 pages

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At his death in 1955, Calouste Gulbenkian was the richest man in the world, known as 'Mr Five Percent' for owning 5% of Middle East oil production. For half a century everyone from the Ottoman Sultans to Joseph Stalin sought his advice on oil policy, the latter rewarding him with Rembrandts from Russia's Hermitage Museum.

Today the companies that Gulbenkian created - including Shell and Total - are household names, while the international agreements he brokered still shape the fortunes of Iraq, Venezuela and other oil-producing countries across the globe. Yet Gulbenkian's secrecy has ensured that his remarkable story remained untold - until now.

Given unprecedented access to Gulbenkian's private papers, Jonathan Conlin pieces together the many lives of a powerful recluse: deal-maker and financier, but also diplomat, art collector and philanthropist, jealous husband and domineering father. This detailed account reveals the effects of Gulbenkian's restless life on those whose interests he sought to serve, as well as on the Foundation which remains his greatest legacy.

By:   Jonathan Conlin
Imprint:   Profile
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Edition:   Main
Dimensions:   Height: 240mm,  Width: 162mm,  Spine: 39mm
Weight:   816g
ISBN:   9781788160421
ISBN 10:   1788160428
Pages:   416
Publication Date:   February 2019
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Jonathan Conlin was born in New York and studied history at Oxford University, followed by graduate work at the Courtauld Institute and Cambridge. He has taught modern British history at the University of Southampton since 2006. His books include The Nation's Mantelpiece: a history of the National Gallery, Tales of Two Cities: Paris, London and the Making of the Modern City, and a biography of Adam Smith.

Compelling ... lovingly researched and crafted with skill... The book pulls off a double success: academic researchers will enjoy and be inspired by it, while general readers will appreciate its clarity and concision. While there are other books written about the extraordinary life of Calouste Gulbenkian, none come close to matching this volume. -- Bulent Goekay * BBC History * Advance praise for Mr Five Per Cent Calouste Gulbenkian accumulated so many millions as to be an international power of his own. Jonathan Conlin is an astute and tenacious biographer of this Armenian Maecenas-Superman, and is never duped by the subterfuges and skulduggery of the international oil business. -- Richard Davenport-Hines Praise for The Nation's Mantelpiece: Wise, funny, and massively informative -- Jonathan Keates * Spectator * Conlin's in-depth study will remain the authoritative account for many years to come * Daily Mail * Praise for Adam Smith: As thorough as it is entertaining. ... without oversimplifying, Conlin brings Smith's world to life. * Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung * Praise for Tales of Two Cities: Fascinating. Admirable skill and a painter's eye ... The reader will never think of London or Paris in the same way again -- Amanda Foreman

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