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Beer Money : A Memoir of Privilege and Loss
by Frances Stroh


Overview -

In the tradition of Rich Cohen’s Sweet and Low and Sean Wilsey’s Oh the Glory of It All, a memoir of a city, an industry, and a dynasty in decline, and the story of a young artist’s struggle to find her way out of the ruins.

Frances Stroh’s earliest memories are ones of great privilege: shopping trips to London and New York, lunches served by black-tied waiters at the Regency Hotel, and a house filled with precious antiques, which she was forbidden to touch.  Read more...


 
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More About Beer Money by Frances Stroh
 
 
 
Overview

In the tradition of Rich Cohen’s Sweet and Low and Sean Wilsey’s Oh the Glory of It All, a memoir of a city, an industry, and a dynasty in decline, and the story of a young artist’s struggle to find her way out of the ruins.

Frances Stroh’s earliest memories are ones of great privilege: shopping trips to London and New York, lunches served by black-tied waiters at the Regency Hotel, and a house filled with precious antiques, which she was forbidden to touch. Established in Detroit in 1850, by 1984 the Stroh Brewing Company had become the largest private beer fortune in America and a brand emblematic of the American dream itself; while Stroh was coming of age, the Stroh family fortune was estimated to be worth $700 million.

But behind the beautiful facade lay a crumbling foundation. Detroit’s economy collapsed with the retreat of the automotive industry to the suburbs and abroad and likewise the Stroh family found their wealth and legacy disappearing. As their fortune dissolved in little over a decade, the family was torn apart internally by divorce and one family member's drug bust; disagreements over the management of the business; and disputes over the remaining money they possessed. Even as they turned against one another, looking for a scapegoat on whom to blame the unraveling of their family, they could not anticipate that even far greater tragedy lay in store.

Featuring beautiful evocative photos throughout, Stroh’s memoir is elegantly spare in structure and mercilessly clear-eyed in its self-appraisal at once a universally relatable family drama and a great American story.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780062393159
  • ISBN-10: 0062393154
  • Publisher: Harper
  • Publish Date: May 2016
  • Page Count: 336
  • Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Biography & Autobiography > Personal Memoirs
Books > Biography & Autobiography > Rich & Famous
Books > Family & Relationships > Dysfunctional Families

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2016-02-29
  • Reviewer: Staff

Stroh, of the Stroh brewing dynasty, captures the downfall of this empire with candor and power. From 1984 to 1992, Stroh Brewery Company was named in the Forbes 400 list, and the Stroh family possessed the largest private beer fortune in America. Yet, by 1999, Miller and Pabst had bought Stroh’s entire brewing business, plunging the beer label into obscurity, and delivering the final blows to a family already torn apart by divorce, deceit, and an imprudently extravagant lifestyle. With the piercing eye of a visual artist—she devoted a piece of installation art to her family and their memories—Stroh stitches together her and her family’s stories in a series of verbal snapshots. She captures her father’s obsession with collecting and photography, her brother Charlie’s drug use and dealing, her father’s divorce and remarriage to a much younger woman, her mother’s remarriage, her father’s drinking, his decline and death in 2009, and the demise of the brewing empire. Stroh effortlessly and elegantly weaves in her own stories of sitting next to Annie Lennox in a Hare Krishna retreat center, her days at boarding school, her drug use, and her deep love and ambivalent feelings for her father. Stroh’s compelling memoir vividly portrays the aching permanence of loss and the palpability of hope that accompanies starting over. (May)

 
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