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The Iron Fist: The Immigrant Journey of J. B. Leonis to Riches and Power in Southern California (Hardcover)
In 1889, a teenage seminary student in the Basque Country of France receives a letter from his powerful uncle in California to come join him and quickly agrees. His uncle, a man referred to as The King of Calabasas for his control of thousands of acres, needs an heir. Unfortunately for the young Jean Baptiste Leonis, his uncle is killed shortly after his nephew's arrival. The young man was left without any benefit of his uncle's estate and must start again in a land of strangers. Fifteen years later, the young man, now known as J. B., starts a unique city--first focused on booze and sports then on building factories and jobs, but like so many, he was never interested in the family homes and neighborhoods of other developers. His rise to power in twentieth-century California and the riches that came with his hard work and vision were met with praise, attacks, and family scandal. He remained stubbornly true to his vision till his last breath.