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Publisher's Summary

Jacob Fugger lived in Germany at the turn of the 16th century, the grandson of a peasant. By the time he died, his fortune amounted to nearly 2 percent of European GDP. Not even John D. Rockefeller had that kind of wealth.

Most people become rich by spotting opportunities, pioneering new technologies, or besting opponents in negotiations. Fugger did all that, but he had an extra quality that allowed him to rise even higher: nerve. In an era when kings had unlimited power, Fugger had the nerve to stare down heads of state and ask them to pay back their loans - with interest. It was this coolness and self-assurance, along with his inexhaustible ambition, that made him not only the richest man ever but a force of history as well. Fugger helped trigger the Reformation and likely funded Magellan's circumnavigation of the globe.

The ultimate untold story, The Richest Man Who Ever Lived is more than a tale about the richest and most influential businessman of all time. It is a story about palace intrigue, knights in battle, family tragedy and triumph, and a violent clash between the 1 percent and everybody else.

©2015 Greg Steinmetz (P)2015 Tantor

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Story

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

History you never knew...

I was surprised to learn that the historical events that led defined whether my forefathers were Catholic or Protestant hinged in large part on loans made by a banker. A compelling and fascinating read that kept my interest on the level with Gone with the Wind.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Professor style narration

Fascinating book on business history. The narrator was not overly dry. It's not the most crisp or dramatic narration but more College professor or documentary style narration. I did get lost on occasion but that is more due to the factually dense prose. Great and fascinating book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Not sure why the narrator hate

I can see someone finding this narrator a bit monotonous. But I enjoy his deadpan sarcastic tone. He was great in A Connecticut Yankee and I found he added to this narrative as well. The book gave an interesting perspective on European history and social political happenings.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Good overall

I enjoyed this book. If you like history, especially regarding Europe in the 16th century, you will like this book. If you like business, businessmen, or stories involving getting money; you will like this book. The narrator was quite good, if a bit monotonous every once in a while. I would certainly recommend buying this audiobook.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Narrator the worst I ever heard

Is there anything you would change about this book?

Engage a different reader. Norman Dietz was terrible. No life in his narration. Great book but very hard to listen to the narrator who never changed his tone. I have listened to 100s of books, and this was by far, the worst narrator that I have ever heard.

What other book might you compare The Richest Man Who Ever Lived to and why?

Not really - that's why this story was so interesting.

Would you be willing to try another one of Norman Dietz’s performances?

Never, never, never!

What else would you have wanted to know about Greg Steinmetz’s life?

Nothing about the author, but would be very interested in more about the subject of his book who was Jacob Fugger.

Any additional comments?

Never use that narrator again.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Dennis
  • FORT PIERCE, FL, United States
  • 12-03-15

Alot of history in an interesting time

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I was unaware of the politics of the 1500"s and this explained alot of the behind the scenes actions of its leaders

Who was your favorite character and why?

All of the cast in history played a role and each had a part to build on the other

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

I enjoyed the story and it was interesting with the reader doing a great job keeping it going

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Near the end when things got alittle out of control for the family

Any additional comments?

If you want an account of history and the powers in early Europe which affected us today you need to read the book

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Narration is Boring

Is there anything you would change about this book?

The narrator

Would you be willing to try another one of Norman Dietz’s performances?

I would give him a second, or even third chance, but if his narrations are as dry, monotonal, and unemotional as this one, No.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing

This is an amazing and extremely important story that reveals and teaches to a large extent how the world works even till this day. So much is projected out of this single story into today's dealings. Forget Game of Thrones and any series out there. This should be story to occupy such status in the motion screen. Plenty of material to make it a thriller while teaching history. But for the impact in and of Science and external unmeasurable phenomena; this story shows how all other measurable aspects influenced our present and still much of the future.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Great subject, descent writing, mediocre reading

Great subject, descent writing, mediocre reading. It is interesting and worth the time, but I would have died if I had listened at normal speed.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

meh

could have been so great but the writing wasn't clear and the story didn't seem to follow a timeline