In this engaging history of the Rothschild family, Morton tracks the rise of the family from humble beginnings in 18th century Hesse to the financially successful 19th and 20th century global spanning fiscal empire. The book itself is relatively short, at only 300 pages, but the author's excellent writing style draws you a full picture of how one family's rise paralleled the social, economic and political events of the past two hundred years.
We begin with one man who had five sons. Five sons who through skill and connections managed to set up financial empires in London, Paris, Frankfurt, Vienna, and Naples. And then through schrewd marriages that would make almost any Habsburg envious, the family continued to expand their wealth and political power during the long nineteenth century. Along the way some of those empires would wither away due to political events and a lack of sons. The majority of the book thus focuses on the remaining branches of the Rothschild Empire that have proved the most successful - the British and the French Rothschilds.
Just be aware - this is a good introduction to the family. But it is not the most thorough - again it is only 300 pages long. If you like Ron Chernow's books on the Warburgs and the Morgans, you will enjoy this book too.