- Paperback: 812 pages
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books; Reprint edition (March 1991)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0671734008
- ISBN-13: 978-0671734008
- Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.1 x 1.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 244 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,205,983 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The House of Morgan: An American Banking Dynasty and the Rise of Modern Finance Paperback – March, 1991
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From Publishers 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.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From 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.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Top customer reviews
In the work of a lesser author this would be less important. Given Chernow's talents, however, this is most disappointing.
As it stands, the good parts are great, for their context about how massively powerful Morgan was, and the beautiful historical anecdotes included.
But like the Odyssey, to Chernow's credit, he constantly ties the different eras of the House of Morgan together, around the culture of Pierpont Morgan. The House of Morgan stood for being the most upright, beyond criticism, and the highest quality and most powerful and loyal to their old time customers. And then we see how the offshoots of his original company stray, especially during the merger and leveraged buy out (LBO) mania of the 1980s.
The weakness of the book is that in trying to cover 150 years of Morgan, it has to cover 150 years of the financial history of the United States as well as that of Europe, to some degree. Additionally, I found the rehashing of the go-go merger mania 1980s for the umteenth time uninteresting... but in the context of now knowing how the firm had gotten there, interesting. It seems like just yesterday Ivan Boesky and Michael Milliken were in the news.
Interestingly, and it is very helpful to keep this in mind throughout the whole book, the book was written just after the financial crash on 1987. The book appears to be an attempt by Chernow to offer a context for how the 1987 crash occurred...greed. Many times he mentions how the US economy and many individual companies and people that worked at those companies were severely damaged by the leveraged buyouts that enriched the bankers, and impoverished everyone else. Chernow also makes clear that the financial shenanigans we still see today is just more of the same garbage that has been tolerated to everyone's detriment at least since the time of JP Morgan and almost certainly before.
Curiously, at the time of his research, about 1988-1989, Chernow mentions in the credits section, both JP Morgan and Morgan Grenfell opened their firms' archives and personnel to the author, perhaps in an attempt to show how worthy their firms had been in the past and come clean of their recent behavior...yet Morgan Stanley totally shut the author out.