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The House of Rothschild: The World's Banker 1849-1998

3.97  ·  Rating Details ·  272 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
A major work of economic, social and political history, Niall Ferguson's The House of Rothschild: The World's Banker 1849-1999 is the second volume of the acclaimed, landmark history of the legendary Rothschild banking dynasty. Niall Ferguson's House of Rothschild: Money's Prophets 1798-1848 was hailed as a 'great biography' by Time magazine and named one of the best books ...more
Paperback, 576 pages
Published September 28th 2000 by Penguin (first published 1998)
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Jul 22, 2013 Mike rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone

The House of Rothschild is a hefty tome covering 200 years and several generations of this family. It is published in two volumes, each about 650 pages long in small (?6 point?) type. In hard cover, each one qualifies as a kitten crusher; together they could harm a small pony.

Since they were published as a set, I will be writing a common review.

The author is Niall Ferguson an unrepentant booster of monetary systems and capitalism. You may remember him from the PBS series, “The Ascent of Money: A
Czarny Pies
Oct 14, 2014 Czarny Pies rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone even remotely interested in European history.
Recommended to Czarny by: I read Volume I after it received a glowing review in the Toronto Globe and Mail
Shelves: european-history
The House of Rothschild: the World's Banker (1849-1999) is the second and concluding volume of Niall Ferguson's outstanding of the one the great families of Europe. The Rothschild's financed the British victory at Waterloo after Napoleon's wildly irresponsible return from Elba, Being in a position of utter dominance in Europe's bond market for the following 35 years, they did they the single most important force in keeping Europe at peace. While the rise of joint-stock banks significantly meant ...more
Jun 21, 2011 Marks54 rated it really liked it
This was the second volume of Ferguson's biography of the Rothschild family. It is well written, generally sympathetic, and filled with details of how the various strands of the family fit into European history from the Crimean war up through the two World Wars. What is amazing about this set is how this family continue to keep itself organized, disciplined, and devoted to business for so long at such a high level of performance. There is nothing like this in journalistic accounts and the volume ...more
Jan 15, 2013 Mark rated it liked it
I finally finished this book, a second in the series. It adds incredible perspective to today's financial crises around the world. Nothing has changed in 200 years - just different players.
David Glad
Think my favorite takeaways were on the brilliance of the family's strategy in the latter half of the 19th century. Essentially by playing it more conservative and versus smaller (as they all were) competitors, it meant they both were unlikely to take stupid risks that could jeopardize the business and also would be unable to be seen as making unusually high profits that could invoke the wrath of any government that might have been in such a position. Double-edged sword though was growing number ...more
Mar 16, 2014 Tim rated it liked it
I loved this, though it is a dense read and really only for history buffs.

We see the recent history of Europe through Ferguson's lens of the Rothschild family. The sections on antisemitism and Nazi Germany were the hardest to read, though fascinating. It was also interesting to see how the social status of the Rothschilds rose over time as discrimination against Jews became less socially acceptable. The story of how Peerage was bestowed on the family was especially interesting.

In the last secti
Ranjeev Dubey
Sep 07, 2012 Ranjeev Dubey rated it it was ok
As with Vol 1, there are insights enough if you are prepared to plough through the vast minefield of paper. For a general interest reader, it s too much data with too little reason to invest the time. I would reccomend an abridged version of Vol 1 and 2 to anyone but this one...lets leave it to the focused student.
Mar 10, 2012 Alex rated it it was ok
Volume 1 of this book was really interesting. Second volume not so much. Even the history of the Rothschilds during Nazi Europe seemed to lack drama, and I suspect the story of their lives during that time could have been better told. A lot of the post war stuff seemed fairly tedious.
anita Lauricella
Jan 17, 2012 anita Lauricella rated it it was ok
I really wanted to read this, but after 100 pages I realized I wasn't sure what he was saying most of the time. Also don't really like the "other people have written, but they were wrong" tone. Will probably give it up Gave it up
Sep 23, 2014 Augustas rated it liked it
Diving deep in to high level politics that mixed with financing in 18-19th century, but time to time too many small details describing Rothschild family's daily life.
Rod Zemke
Feb 10, 2014 Rod Zemke rated it really liked it
Good, but too much detail.
Jed Ringel
Jan 05, 2015 Jed Ringel rated it it was ok
Engrossing, but a bit too much detail.
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Niall Ferguson is a British (Scottish) historian who specialises in financial and economic history as well as the history of empire. He is the Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History at Harvard University and the William Ziegler Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School. He was educated at the private Glasgow Academy in Scotland, and at Magdalen College, Oxford.

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