House of Rothschild: The World's Banker 1848-1999

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9780670887941: House of Rothschild: The World's Banker 1848-1999

"A great biography..." --Time

"Absorbing....Their enthralling story has been told before, but never in such authoritative detail." --The New York Times Book Review

Formidable...rich and compelling...a feast," said The Wall Street Journal of Niall Ferguson's House of Rothschild: Money's Prophets, the first volume in his myth-shattering chronicle of the legendary, secretive Rothschild banking dynasty. Business Week, admiring its "fluid, masterful synthesis," named it one of the best business books of 1998.

Now, with all the depth, clarity, and drama with which he traced their ascent, Ferguson--the first historian with access to the long-lost Rothschild archives--captures in House of Rothschild: The World's Banker this far-flung family at the zenith of its power: its intricate relationships, and its unparalleled business finesse in the most unstable of times. Until the eve of the First World War they wielded power greater than that of any bank today. The root of their decline--failure to establish a sixth house in the new world financial center of New York--is pinpointed in this dynamic conclusion.

"This is a major achievement of historical scholarship and historical imagination. Ferguson's work reaffirms one's faith in the possibility of great historical writing." --Fritz Stern

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Review:

Continuing the sweeping narrative that he began with The House of Rothschild: Money's Prophets, 1798-1848, Oxford University historian Niall Ferguson conjures up a world in which widespread change and utter uncertainty held sway in the place of carefully ordered dynasties and universally observed mores. In the aftermath of the Napoleonic revolution, European Jews had been able to move within dominant societies somewhat more freely. Of no family was this more true than the Rothschilds, whose branches lived in Germany, France, Austria, and England, and whose vast financial empire enabled them to act as diplomats and power brokers throughout the world. Their influence was enormous. When Spain wanted to build a railroad, its ministers approached the House of Rothschild. When the Confederate States of America sought to be recognized by the states of Europe, it sought--unsuccessfully--the Rothschilds' support. When Ferdinand de Lesseps broke ground for the Panama Canal and Cecil Rhodes broke ground for his vast diamond and gold mines in South Africa, Rothschild funds backed them.

Until the 1920s, Ferguson demonstrates, there was almost no economic, technological, or political development in Europe in which the House of Rothschild did not play some role. The rise of nationalist and national socialist movements and of official anti-Semitism, coupled with the rise in the Jazz Age of a new generation of Rothschilds that cared more for the good life than for the hard work of maintaining their holdings, led to a substantial decline in the family's authority and wealth. But even today, as Ferguson writes in this richly detailed but eminently readable history, the Rothschilds figure in European finance, continuing a legacy that Ferguson's two volumes trace from the Middle Ages to the new millennium. --Gregory McNamee

About the Author:

Niall Ferguson is Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History at Harvard University, a Senior Research Fellow of Jesus College, Oxford University, and a Senior Fellow of the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. The bestselling author of Paper and Iron, The House of Rothschild, The Pity of War, The Cash Nexus, Empire, and Colossus, he also writes regularly for newspapers and magazines all over the world. Since 2003 he has written and presented three highly successful television documentary series for British television: Empire, American Colossus, and, The War of the World. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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Book Description Viking, New York, 1999. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. First American. A thorough history of the famous Jewish banking family, based partially upon material from previously unavailable family archives. This is the second volume of a two-volume work that traces the family through two centuries, from 1798 to 1999. Includes genealogical chart at the beginning of the book. Illustrated with black & white and color photographs. Remainder mark on bottom edge; some scuffing to back of dust jacket. Bookseller Inventory # 268

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