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The House of Morgan: An American Banking Dynasty and the Rise of Modern Finance | [Ron Chernow]

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

A gripping history of banking and the booms and busts that shaped the world on both sides of the Atlantic, The House of Morgan traces the trajectory of the J. P.Morgan empire from its obscure beginnings in Victorian London to the crash of 1987. Ron Chernow paints a fascinating portrait of the private saga of the Morgans and the rarefied world of the American and British elite in which they moved. Based on extensive interviews and access to the family and business archives, The House of Morgan is an investigative masterpiece.
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Publisher's Summary

Winner of the National Book Award and now considered a classic, The House of Morgan is the most ambitious history ever written about an American banking dynasty. Acclaimed by the Wall Street Journal as "brilliantly researched and written", the book tells the rich, panoramic story of four generations of Morgans and the powerful, secretive firms they spawned. It is the definitive account of the rise of the modern financial world. A gripping history of banking and the booms and busts that shaped the world on both sides of the Atlantic, The House of Morgan traces the trajectory of the J. P.Morgan empire from its obscure beginnings in Victorian London to the crash of 1987. Ron Chernow paints a fascinating portrait of the private saga of the Morgans and the rarefied world of the American and British elite in which they moved. Based on extensive interviews and access to the family and business archives, The House of Morgan is an investigative masterpiece, 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.

©2014 Ron Chernow (P)2014 Blackstone Audio

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (55 )
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  •  
    Courtney Tucker, GA, United States 05-20-14
    Courtney Tucker, GA, United States 05-20-14 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Starts out strong but then fractures"
    Would you try another book from Ron Chernow and/or Robertson Dean?

    Absolutely! Chernow's book on Rockefeller is one of my all time favorites! Writing a book about an investment bank that is both interesting and compelling throughout is a herculean task. Ron Chernow has done as good a job as can be done for such a book. This book is 34 hours and 36 minutes long so keeping the mind engaged was challenging in the end where the company was so fractured was difficult


    Would you recommend The House of Morgan to your friends? Why or why not?

    It depends on the friend but in general - no. Most would not enjoy this book and would find the details of investment bankers dealings quite tedious. If a friend was interested in understanding the financial history of the US economy and the forces that shaped it - I would recommend this book.


    Which character – as performed by Robertson Dean – was your favorite?

    Lamont was an interesting and complex man.


    Do you think The House of Morgan needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    No. I think Chernow has pretty much covered everything.


    Any additional comments?

    The book is very monolithic in the begining with the powerful J.P. Morgan - but as the company moved out of the hands of the Morgan's and became more fractured I found it more difficult to follow all these little men.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matt Parkdale, Australia 08-05-14
    Matt Parkdale, Australia 08-05-14 Member Since 2004
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    "A brilliant book for history or finance buffs"

    A genuine masterpiece. Beautifully written and read.

    You might think a book about banking would be dry and boring - not this one! I found it gripping..

    The Morgan dynasty's monopoly of large scale finance on both sides of the Atlantic spanned several generations. They were bankers to all the major world powers and key industrialists in the first half of the century.

    The author does a magnificent job of bringing the characters and all the high dramas to life. It's also a superb chronicle of modern history. Listening to their exploits gave me insights and perspective on history and economics that would be hard to find elsewhere.

    If you don't know anything about finance you may struggle with some of the details about financial instruments, but you'll still get a good sense of the big picture.

    Regardless of your politics or what you think about bankers, if you're at all interested in history or finance this is definitely one to get.

    Ten out of ten!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cletus van Damme Edmond, OK, United States 06-25-14
    Cletus van Damme Edmond, OK, United States 06-25-14 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Superb narration"

    Robertson Dean takes what could have been a dry financial history and turns it into a fascinating tale. I did not catch a single mispronunciation, even on foreign words like "cognoscenti" and "pince-nez." He is one of the best in the business. I thoroughly enjoyed the book, particularly because it confirms the hair-raising truth about central banking described by G. Edward Griffin in "The Creature from Jekyll Island."

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    PHIL San Diego, CA, United States 05-20-14
    PHIL San Diego, CA, United States 05-20-14 Member Since 2011
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    "Monumental. Loved it."

    This is the first Ron Chernow book I have read. Wow, what a storyteller. I presume the reader already has an interest in the overall topic. Mr Chernow has a way of plucking out a telling little detail that sets a scene or gives a sense of a personality marvelously. And he tirelessly delivers this sort of thing across a vast canvas. He did the same with Alexander Hamilton, as I have since heard it. I hope an audio of his book "The Warburgs" is forthcoming.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Florence 04-20-14
    J. Florence 04-20-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Widely Encompassing History"

    My complaint with this work is that it is overreaching, a bit too all encompassing, to the point that it becomes a bit unwieldy. It's strongest moments are the stories of people, the fly on the wall moments, especially early on in the book, Peabody and Pierpont Morgan. As the book progresses, it delves too much into World History, and becomes more of a summary, less of the "scene", as a result. I found Chernow's later work on Hamilton, far more compelling due to its narrower scope. That said, I enjoyed and would recommend this to readers interested in world history with an emphasis on finance.

    I disliked the narration by Dean, just a personal take, his voice lacked tonality for me, withdrew rather than added any drama or interest.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vicki Montpelier, VA, United States 09-01-14
    Vicki Montpelier, VA, United States 09-01-14 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fascinating"
    What did you love best about The House of Morgan?

    I love history and I especially love learning history through a narrow point of view, like a biography. This is a fascinating biography of a banking empire. There were parts where it dragged a little but I think that there were simply periods of time where the bank wasn't as influential or interesting as other times.


    What other book might you compare The House of Morgan to and why?

    I would compare this to Titan, also by Chernow.


    What does Robertson Dean bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Robertson Dean is an outstanding narrator and kept the story interesting throughout.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dane SAN RAFAEL, CA, United States 05-05-14
    Dane SAN RAFAEL, CA, United States 05-05-14 Member Since 2012
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    "An Extremely Thorough Book"
    What made the experience of listening to The House of Morgan the most enjoyable?

    This is a very long and thorough book. The author and reader both do a great job to bring it alive with unusual personalities and the human story. I enjoyed it immensely. Thanks for the great listen.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-7 of 7 results
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  • K. Gholam
    UK
    4/10/14
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    "This is a VERY long read"
    Would you try another book written by Ron Chernow or narrated by Robertson Dean?

    If the subject matter was interesting to me


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    n/a


    What three words best describe Robertson Dean’s performance?

    Appropriate, clear, correct


    If this book were a film would you go see it?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    This is a VERY long read. Fortunately the subject matter was fascinating, but it was a lot to get through. I normally prefer unabridged books, but I felt every mile of the marathon read when I finished it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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