Tobacco Road's Dirty Ashtrays

An heir to a cigarette fortune portrays a grim family legacy

For Patrick Reynolds, 40, tobacco is the root of a small fortune and the object of a zealous crusade. A grandson of R.J. Reynolds, founder of the giant tobacco company, Reynolds enjoyed a privileged prep-school upbringing in Connecticut and Florida. But in the five years since he stubbed out his last cigarette, the sometime TV-and-film actor has become a militant antismoker. Now Reynolds has co-written, with author Tom Shachtman, The Gilded Leaf (Little, Brown; $19.95), a moralistic tale about a fortune built on tobacco and dissipated by reckless heirs. Says Reynolds: "The hand that fed me is the tobacco industry, and...

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