Bankers, philanthropists, scholars, socialites, artists, and politicians, the Warburgs stood at the pinnacle of German (and, later, German American) Jewry. They forged economic dynasties, built mansions and estates, assembled libraries, endowed charities, and advised a German kaiser and two American presidents. But their very success made the Warburgs lightning rods for anti-Semitism, and their sense of patriotism became increasingly dangerous in a Germany that had declared Jews the enemy.
Ron Chernow's hugely fascinating history is a group portrait of a clan whose members were renowned for their brilliance, culture, and personal energy yet tragically vulnerable to the dark and irrational currents of the 20th century.
The story of the Warburgs is fascinating, compelling. Unfortunately, the reader has made rendered it almost impossible to listen to through his terrible mispronunciation of common words and a strange emphasis which ends most sentences with and urgency not intended by the author.
I did, however, manage to struggle through to end.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
The way history and perspective is woven into the a fine stories of his subjects is unmatched.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Fascinating walk thru 19-20th century as an unusual family dealt with the Holocaust and life after.
Reader could use some help pronouncing German and Israeli names but was otherwise A+.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
The book itself is fascinating. This an amazing account of a powerful family including a tradition of philanthropy and influence. Included in the story of impressive personalities each contributing to the history of their era, is a tale of drama and loss.
The narrator has a good voice, but annoying occurrences of odd pronunciation of certain words and names. Most irritating, however is the shrill sibillance of the letter "s." When it occurs, it grates on the ears.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
A gripping and spectacular story of a great families supreme and continuous effort to remain viable!
This was very well written book. I enjoyed the narration. I also enjoyed the history of that time. It gave me more insights of what the Jewish people went through during the 1930’s and 1940’s.
Well researched and written but the essence of the story often gets lost in the details of the family member lives. What it seems to be missing is the genius of Stefan Zweig who, when writing this, i immagine, would manage to flush out the essence of the family, what it means for humanity.
You need not be an international banker to enjoy this wonderful story of a special family that changed the world of high finance. Countless events of individual emotional and geographical family dynamics are expertly weaves into this multi-generational story. The horrible impact of the rise of the Third Reich, Hitler, and the struggles this and other Jews suffered is detailed. The philanthropic focus by this family was also detailed. The narrator is to be commended as well. Written in typical and understandable Chernow fashion.
More of a history than a business book until about Chapter 40. The performance was somewhat choppy, but you get used to it after ten or so hours.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful