The Outsider

Albert M. Greenfield and the Fall of the Protestant Establishment

Dan Rottenberg
Book Cover

PB: $24.95
EAN: 978-1-4399-0842-6
Publication: Mar 18

HC: $45.00
EAN: 978-1-4399-0841-9
Publication: Sep 14

Ebook: $45.00
EAN: 978-1-4399-0843-3
Publication: Sep 14

384 pages
6 x 9
12 halftones

The remarkable life of Albert M. Greenfield, a Jewish immigrant whose business empire helped shape Philadelphia and the United States in the twentieth century

Read the Prologue (pdf).


Albert M. Greenfield (1887–1967), a Russian immigrant outsider, was courted for his business acumen by mayors, senators, governors, and presidents, including Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman. He built a business empire that encompassed real estate, department and specialty stores (Bonwit Teller and Tiffany & Co.), hotels (the Ben Franklin and the Bellevue-Stratford), banks, newspapers, transportation companies, and the Loft Candy Corporation. Greenfield challenged Philadelphia’s entrenched business elite by forming alliances among Jews, Catholics, and African Americans. He was also instrumental in bringing both major political conventions to Philadelphia in 1948.

In The Outsider, veteran journalist and best-selling author Dan Rottenberg deftly chronicles the astonishing rises, falls, and countless reinventions of this combative businessman. Greenfield's power enabled him to cross social, religious, and ethnic boundaries with impunity. He alarmed Philadelphia's conservative business and social leaders—Christians and Jews alike—some of whom plotted his downfall.

In this engaging account of Greenfield's fascinating life, Rottenberg demonstrates the extent to which one uniquely brilliant and energetic man pushed the boundaries of society's limitations on individual potential. The Outsider provides a microcosmic look at three twentieth-century upheavals: the rise of Jews as a crucial American business force, the decline of America's Protestant Establishment, and the transformation of American cities.

Table of Contents

Preface: The Jews, the Wasps, and the New American Dream
Author’s Disclosure

Prologue: Merion Station, December 1930

PART I: Beginnings
1. The Wealth in Your Head
2. The New World

PART II: Power
3. Broker
4. Developer
5. Banker

PART III: Downfall
6. The Great Crash
7. The Protestant Establishment
8. The Reckoning

PART IV: Comeback
9. Merchant Prince
10. New Deal Democrat
11. Reluctant Zionist
12. Godfather

PART V: Legacy
13. Civic Savior
14. Lion in Winter
15. House of Cards

Epilogue: Merion Station, December 1930

Principal Characters

About the Author(s)

Dan Rottenberg is the author of eleven books, including The Man Who Made Wall Street: Anthony J. Drexel and the Rise of Modern Finance, and the founding editor of the Broad Street Review, an arts and culture website.