Through the pages of this large and well-written book, Joseph Frazier Wall delivers all that the title promises and much more. Beginning with the origins of the du Pont family in the eighteenth century and ending with an epilogue about Ed Ball’s covetous management of the du Pont estate during the half century after Alfred’s death, Wall not only portrays the huge du Pont family through a half dozen generations, but also says a great deal about the growth of business, industry, technology, and finance in the context of the history of the United States from its revolutionary inception in the late eighteenth century. The emphasis is on Alfred I. du Pont who may have been the rebel of the family, but who, as the author demonstrates, certainly was not a black sheep. Wall shows how the powder factory on the Brandywine grew into an enormous manufacturing conglomerate, how the du Pont family also grew from a close-knit group into a sprawling network of cousins and in-laws that more closely resembled “Dynasty” than “Dallas,” and how the latter so forcefully and sometimes so disastrously influenced the former.
Shofner, Jerrell H.
"Review Essay:--Alfred I. du Pont: His Impact on Florida,"
Florida Historical Quarterly: Vol. 69:
3, Article 6.
Available at: https://stars.library.ucf.edu/fhq/vol69/iss3/6