Nearly five years in the making, based on archival research
conducted in five different languages, The Reichmanns is the definitive biography of a reclusive dynasty that tried to serve both God and mammon on an epic scale.

Staying one step ahead of the Third Reich, the ultra-Orthodox Reichmanns fled from Vienna to Paris to intrigue-filled Tangier, where they made a for- tune in currency trading even as they used their contacts in Franco’s Spain to ship food parcels by the thousands into Nazi concentration camps.

After immigrating to Canada in the 1950s, a new generation of Reichmann brothers, led by the unassailably confident Paul, built Olympia & York into the world’s largest real estate development. Even as such glamorous projects as the World Financial Center in New York boosted the Reichmann’s net worth to $10 billion, they continued to lead modest, rigorously kosher lives. Yet by 1992, O & Y was bankrupt, done in by Paul’s obsessive devotion to a grandiose idea ahead of its time, the redevelopment of a stretch of abandoned docklands in London called Canary Wharf.

Chosen by the New York Times as one of its notable books of 1997, the Reichmanns also won the National Business Book Award of Canada. “Bianco’s tour de force deftly captures one of the century’s most intriguing business stories and places it in a broad social and historical context,” the judges concluded.

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