The Patriarchs

The Agnelli Dynasty and the Price of Power

Jennifer Clark

The Patriarchs


Year: 2024

Pages: 418

The fascinating and tragic story of one of the world’s wealthiest and most powerful families, as they navigate monumental shifts in history.

The overwhelming power and inestimable fortune of the Agnelli dynasty, paired with the glamour and inimitable class of the legendary Fiat figure head, Gianni Agnelli, and the tragic death of his son, makes this family story unique in every sense.

Inspired by Henry Ford, the Turin-based founder of Fiat accumulated a fortune during WW1 and WW2, by providing trucks, cars, and machine guns to Italy’s army. But the Agnelli family soon extended its influence by acquiring a newspaper (La Stampa), a football club (Juventus), and a host of other businesses.

By the 1980s, the Agnelli family businesses accounted for approximately 3% of the national GDP and 25% of the companies listed on the Milan Stock Exchange.

Gianni Agnelli, who passed away in 2003, leaving the reins to his grandson, was a legend in his own right. His mother was half American, and his wife, Marella, one of Truman Capote’s “Swans”. As “jet setters,” they hobnobbed with the likes of Prince Aga Kahn, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, and Pamela Churchill.



Much has been written about this enigmatic family, but none with the access needed to tell the whole story, both personal and financial, including what was really going on in the shadows, where death and tragedy are as much a part of the family story as the business.

The Agnelli men ruled in a way that reflected the patriarchal mindset of an epoch that is gone forever.

Rights sold:

Poland (Spoleczny Instytut)
Film rights optioned by Nine Hours (Fremantle Media)

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