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The last baron : the Paris kidnapping that brought down an empire / Tom Sancton.

Available copies

  • 1 of 1 copy available at LARL/NWRL Consortium.
  • 1 of 1 copy available at Lake Agassiz Regional Library. (Show preferred library)

Current holds

0 current holds with 1 total copy.

Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status Due Date
Breckenridge Public Library 362.8297 SAN (Text) 33500013593090 New Available -

Record details

  • ISBN: 9780593183809
  • ISBN: 0593183800
  • Physical Description: x, 351 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
  • Publisher: New York, NY : Dutton, [2022]

Content descriptions

General Note:
Place of publication from publisher's website.
Bibliography, etc. Note:
Includes bibliographical references.
Summary, etc.:
"A riveting on-the-edge-of-your-seat story about the famous 1970s Patty Hearst-style kidnapping of Baron Edouard "Wado" Empain, juxtaposed with the story of his famous grandfather, the first Baron, who built the Paris Metro, all with the fascinating alternating backgrounds of both Belle Epoque and 1970s high-fashion Paris. What does it take to create a dynasty? What does it take to keep one alive? And what does it take to keep one man alive, once the society surrounding wealth, power, and influence in 1970s France begins to crumble, and society begins to question it all? Beginning in 1896, the first Baron Empain built both the Paris Metro and an empire from France to Belgian to Egypt that his grandson, Edouard (aka Wado), would inherit, diversify, and expand in the 1960s and '70s. But by 1978, the world had turned against industry and wealth, with high-profile kidnappings like Patty Hearst's happening around the globe. Alan Callioll, then a small-time gangster who had grown up in vastly different circumstances but was no less brilliant, saw an opportunity. He and his confederates executed a successful kidnapping, snatching Wado off the Paris streets, sure that they'd get the 2 million francs they demanded in ransom. But nothing unfolded as the team, or Wado himself, expected. Would Wado's company pay? How much was a leader, and a person, worth? And could the French police outsmart the kidnappers? The roots of each question lay deep in the past, back into the first Baron Empain's history, Wado's own parents and childhood, and the overall understanding of how the city that the Empain family built just might not need them anymore"-- Provided by publisher.

  • Booklist Reviews : Booklist Reviews 2022 March #2
    Journalist Sancton (The Bettencourt Affair, 2017) merges true-crime drama and family saga to chronicle the rise and fall of the Empain family's vast industrial empire. In 1978, a criminal gang kidnapped Wado, the dazzling but flawed third Baron Empain, from the streets of Paris in broad daylight. It left him a broken man, missing a finger, his reputation in ruins, his family torn apart, and with control of the business unraveling. A hundred years earlier, his grandfather, the first baron, rose from humble beginnings in Belgium to great wealth and power, sowing the seeds of downfall along the way. Sancton's briskly paced narrative moves smoothly through three generations of family history, a complex crime plot, and a century's worth of social and political background. You-are-there word pictures set the scene and capture character. A gang member, for example, is a hot-blooded, back-slapping type; another a low-rent bungler. It is a classic tale, not a Greek tragedy, perhaps, for Wado did not quite have the stature of a Greek hero. But a human tragedy nonetheless. Copyright 2022 Booklist Reviews.

Author Notes

Tom Sancton, author of The Bettencourt Affair and five other nonfiction books, was a longtime Paris bureau chief for Time magazine, where he wrote more than fifty cover stories. A Rhodes scholar who studied at Harvard and Oxford, he is currently a research professor at Tulane University in New Orleans, where he spends part of the year. In 2014, the French government named Tom Sancton a Chevalier (Knight) in the Order of Arts and Letters.

Subject: Empain, Edouard-Jean, baron, 1937- > Kidnapping.
Caillol, Alain.
Kidnapping > France > Case studies.
Industrialists > France.
Empain, Edouard-Jean, baron, 1937-
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General.
Genre: Case studies.
Case studies.

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