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

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Part Two Of Two Parts

THE HOUSE OF MORGAN, a 1990 National Book Award winner, may be the most ambitious history ever written about an American banking dynasty. It is a rich panoramic story of four generations of Morgans, of the firms they built, of their private alliances and public feuds, and of a presence that continues to this day.

Yet THE HOUSE OF MORGAN is more than any of these. It is the story of the colorful J. Pierpont Morgan with his ...

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2001 Trade paperback New. Trade paperback (US). Glued binding. 832 p. Contains: Illustrations. Audience: General/trade. 100% Guaranteed Quality That You Be Proud Of

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

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Overview

Part Two Of Two Parts

THE HOUSE OF MORGAN, a 1990 National Book Award winner, may be the most ambitious history ever written about an American banking dynasty. It is a rich panoramic story of four generations of Morgans, of the firms they built, of their private alliances and public feuds, and of a presence that continues to this day.

Yet THE HOUSE OF MORGAN is more than any of these. It is the story of the colorful J. Pierpont Morgan with his colossal collection, numerous mistresses and Corsair, his cruiser-size yacht...of his son, J.P., who financed the Allies in WW I and fought with FDR...and of other famous families, the DuPonts, Astors, Vanderbilts and their ilk.

"A penetrating look at the real power (money) behind the historical events, and the industrial empires that have transformed the world." (Publisher's Source)

The most ambitious history ever written about an American banking dynasty, The House of Morgan traces the astonishing path of the J.P. Morgan empire with the sweep of an epic novel. "Brilliantly researched and written" (The Wall Street Journal), the hardcover was recently named winner of the 1990 National Book Award for Nonfiction. 32 pages of photographs.

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Editorial Reviews

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.
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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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802138293
  • Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/28/2001
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 832
  • Product dimensions: 6.62 (w) x 9.18 (h) x 1.78 (d)

Meet the Author

Ron Chernow

RON CHERNOW is the author of six books, including The Warburgs, a history of the German-Jewish Warburg banking family, and the award-winning biographies Alexander Hamilton and Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr.
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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2004

    More Than I Expected

    'The House of Morgan' is a fascinating book that grasped my attention and introduced me into an intriguing world of finance that I had never before experienced. Expecting a bland, strictly analytical book about Morgan and his banking system, I was shocked to learn about all of the various personalities and characters involved in Morgan's world. This book tells an enticing story of a man and his legacy, along with the system that he helped create and refine. The author's authentic descriptions and attention to details make this book personal and quite enjoyable. Although the book is rather lengthy, it is most definitely worth the time.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 16, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    An enlightening read: most pertinent in today's economic meltdown

    House of Morgan, though lengthy, is a most enjoyable and easy read, filled with political and economic intrigue. It is especially pertinent in light of today's banking "crisis."

    In the book, we see the rise of central banking again, following Andrew Jackson's killing of the bank, and the role of central banks globally in terms of government policies and the financing of both governments and their policies.

    Detailed also are a series of domestic and global economic collapses, not unlike what we are experiencing today. The incestuous relationships between big business, big government, and big banks is entertainingly chronicled and should disabuse anyone of the notion that we have a truly free economy founded on market competition--a concept JP Morgan detested.

    While disagreeing with some of Chernow's assertions--the role of Smoot-Hawley in the great depression being an example, where Chernow is at variance with Milton Friedman--he has on balance produced a highly readable, entertaining, and most informative book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 5, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Only for serious financial history buffs

    If you think today's financial crises spring from something new, read this book. You will see how time after time free markets will out, sometimes with disastrous consequences. Moreover, reading this study of the "bank of banks" will make it clearer than ever that those who do not read history and understand it are doomed to repeat it. While it can be tough reading for those not interested in the inner workings of international finance, its a load of great history for those who are interested.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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