The House of Morgan: An American Banking Dynasty and the Rise of Modern Finance

The House of Morgan: An American Banking Dynasty and the Rise of Modern Finance

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by Ron Chernow
     
 

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Published to critical acclaim twenty years ago, and now considered a classic, The House of Morgan is the most ambitious history ever written about American finance. It is a rich, panoramic story of four generations of Morgans and the powerful, secretive firms they spawned, ones that would transform the modern financial world. Tracing the trajectory of J. P.See more details below

Overview


Published to critical acclaim twenty years ago, and now considered a classic, The House of Morgan is the most ambitious history ever written about American finance. It is a rich, panoramic story of four generations of Morgans and the powerful, secretive firms they spawned, ones that would transform the modern financial world. Tracing the trajectory of J. P. Morgan’s empire from its obscure beginnings in Victorian London to the financial crisis of 1987, acclaimed author Ron Chernow paints a fascinating portrait of the family’s private saga and the rarefied world of the American and British elite in which they moved—a world that included Charles Lindbergh, Henry Ford, Franklin Roosevelt, Nancy Astor, and Winston Churchill. A masterpiece of financial history—it was awarded the 1990 National Book Award for Nonfiction and selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 Best Nonfiction Books of the Twentieth Century—The House of Morgan is a compelling account of a remarkable institution and the men who ran it, and an essential book for understanding the money and power behind the major historical events of the last 150 years.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Winner of the National Book Award

“As a portrait of finance, politics and the world of avarice and ambition on Wall Street, the book has the movement and tension of an epic novel. It is, quite simply, a tour de force.”—The New York Times Book Review

“As informative and entertaining a history, especially of the period from 1880 to 1930, as this reviewer has ever read . . . Nowhere has our tenuous financial system been better described than by Chernow.”—John Rothchild, Los Angeles Times Book Review

“Chernow deftly mixes biography with economics and explicates arcane matters of high finance with sparkling clarity. . . . A fascinating historical journey from Charles Dickens’ London to Tom Wolfe’s New York.”—David M. Kennedy, The Atlantic Monthly

“An astonishingly detailed and fascinating story of the Morgan banks and the men who have run them. Chernow uses his gift for description to bring out vividly the personalities of his principals.”—Don Keown, San Francisco Chronicle

“Epic . . . Chernow melds deep insights into the life and times of Morgan bankers over 150 years with the flow of world history and the growth of banking and finance. With rich detail and warmth, he brings to life the defunct species of gentleman banker.”—Bill Barnhart, Chicago Tribune

Jeffrey E. Garten
''The House of Morgan'' is much more than a detailed and colorful description of a family and an institution, more than a parting of the curtains on the three secretive Morgan firms....''The House of Morgan'' is no expose, being free of gossip and the kind of backstabbing that usually takes place when writers interview former partners or competitors. But neither is it dry. Mr. Chernow has managed to get close to his characters in their business achievements, and in the anguish of their personal lives too. The story is beautifully balanced. The author is respectful of the enormous power wielded by the Morgan men, but he is also often skeptical of their motives. He extols the accomplishments of certain partners, but he highlights as well the egregious lapses of judgment and the moral flaws of the executives, including the deep strains of anti-Semitism in the Morgan culture....As a portrait of finance, politics and the world of avarice and ambition on Wall Street, the book has the movement and tension of an epic novel. It is, quite simply, a tour de force. -- New York Times
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
J. P. Morgan Sr.'s close relationship with Teddy Roosevelt; his son Jack Morgan's clientele of governments, finance ministers and central banks; and the Morgan realm's split under New Deal legislation are examined in detail in this National Book Award winner. ``Packed with revelations, Chernow's mammoth history demystifies the inner workings of the secretive Morgan banking empire,'' PW said . Photos . Author tour. (Mar.)
Library Journal
Chernow vividly portrays the influence that the Morgan banks have had on the history of the Western economy since the late 18th century. The epic story of the development of the American industrial experience is inextricably related to the history of the Morgan banks. Though this fascinating story is virtually the same as that told by Kathleen Bunk in Morgan Grenfell 1838-1988 ( LJ 12/89), Chernow adds color and personality with an emphasis on the 20th-century development of the bank. Working with recently discovered Morgan archives, he reveals institutional details long hidden by the protective secrecy of the family. This superb history will be an important book. BOMC, Fortune, and History Book Club featured alternates. --Joseph Barth, U.S. Military Acad. Lib., West Point, N.Y.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780802144652
Publisher:
Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
Publication date:
01/13/2010
Pages:
848
Sales rank:
107,827
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.68(d)

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
Winner of the National Book Award

“As a portrait of finance, politics and the world of avarice and ambition on Wall Street, the book has the movement and tension of an epic novel. It is, quite simply, a tour de force.”—The New York Times Book Review

“As informative and entertaining a history, especially of the period from 1880 to 1930, as this reviewer has ever read . . . Nowhere has our tenuous financial system been better described than by Chernow.”—John Rothchild, Los Angeles Times Book Review

“Chernow deftly mixes biography with economics and explicates arcane matters of high finance with sparkling clarity. . . . A fascinating historical journey from Charles Dickens’ London to Tom Wolfe’s New York.”—David M. Kennedy, The Atlantic Monthly

“An astonishingly detailed and fascinating story of the Morgan banks and the men who have run them. Chernow uses his gift for description to bring out vividly the personalities of his principals.”—Don Keown, San Francisco Chronicle

“Epic . . . Chernow melds deep insights into the life and times of Morgan bankers over 150 years with the flow of world history and the growth of banking and finance. With rich detail and warmth, he brings to life the defunct species of gentleman banker.”—Bill Barnhart, Chicago Tribune

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