A Full Cup
Sir Thomas Lipton's Extraordinary Life and His Quest for the America's Cup
By Michael D'Antonio
(Riverhead Hardcover, Hardcover, 9781594487606, 368pp.)
Publication Date: July 8, 2010
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An in-depth biography of Sir Thomas Lipton, the founder of Lipton Tea-a portrait of a remarkable self-made man and intrepid sailor.
Today Lipton means tea. However, in his time Sir Thomas Lipton was known for much more. Raised in desperate poverty, he became rich beyond his wildest dreams. He built a global empire of markets, factories, plantations, and stockyards. And his colorful pursuit of the America's Cup trophy made him a beloved figure on both sides of the Atlantic.
In A Full Cup, Michael D'Antonio tells the tale of this larger- than-life figure. Beginning with a journey across the United States just after the Civil War, Thomas J. Lipton developed the ambition and learned the business techniques that helped him create the first chain of grocery stores. Wealthy before the age of thirty, he set his sights on the tea trade, and soon his name became synonymous with his product. Lipton's great business success makes for a compelling story of innovation and achievement. Moreover, though, Lipton's most intriguing creation was a public persona-one of the first formed with the help of a modern mass media-that appealed to millions of ordinary people, as well as the elites in America and Europe. Concocting simple stunts like elephant parades, Lipton mastered the new art of obtaining free publicity. With shameless self-promotion, he became one of the world's most eligible bachelors, a patron of the poor, and ultimately reached legendary heights when he revived the competition for the America's Cup. With one losing attempt after another, the gallant Lipton, who didn't even know how to sail his own yacht, became ever more popular. D'Antonio's biography brings to vivid life this remarkable figure.
Michael D'Antonio is the author of many acclaimed books, including Atomic Harvest, Tin Cup Dreams, Mosquito, The State Boys Rebellion, and Hershey. His work has appeared in Esquire, The New York Times Magazine, the Los Angeles Times Magazine, Discover, and other publications. Among his many awards is the Pulitzer Prize, which he shared with a team of reporters for Newsday.
In A Full Cup, writer Michael D'Antonio traces Thomas Lipton's rise from the slums of Glasgow, Scotland, to the High Courts of Tea -- and how he never forgot where he came from. More at NPR.org
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