Published to critical acclaim twenty years ago, and now considered a classic, The House of Morgan is the most ambitious history ever written about American finance. It is a rich, panoramic story of four generations of Morgans and the powerful, secretive firms they spawned, ones that would transform the modern financial world. Tracing the trajectory of J. P. Morgan's empire from its obscure beginnings in Victorian London to the financial crisis of 1987, acclaimed author Ron Chernow paints a fascinating portrait of the family's private saga and the rarefied world of the American and British elite in which they moved--a world that included Charles Lindbergh, Henry Ford, Franklin Roosevelt, Nancy Astor, and Winston Churchill. A masterpiece of financial history--it was awarded the 1990 National Book Award for Nonfiction and selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 Best Nonfiction Books of the Twentieth Century--The House of Morgan is 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.
Chernow vividly portrays the influence that the Morgan banks have had on the history of the Western economy since the late 18th century. The epic story of the development of the American industrial experience is inextricably related to the history of the Morgan banks. Though this fascinating story is virtually the same as that told by Kathleen Bunk in Morgan Grenfell 1838-1988, Chernow adds color and personality with an emphasis on the 20th-century development of the bank. Working with recently discovered Morgan archives, he reveals institutional details long hidden by the protective secrecy of the family. This superb history will be an important book.
An honors graduate of Yale and Cambridge, Ron Chernow is one of the most distinguished commentators on politics and business in America today. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch has hailed him as “one of the pre-eminent biographers of his generation” and Fortune magazine has dubbed him “America’s best business biographer.” His first book, The House of Morgan, won the National Book Award as the best non-fiction book of 1990 and is considered a modern classic. The Modern Library Board voted it one of the 100 best nonfiction books published in the twentieth century. His second book, The Warburgs, won the prestigious George S. Eccles Prize for the best business book of 1993 and was cited by the American Library Association as one of the year’s ten best works. In reviewing his 1997 collection of essays, The Death of the Banker, The New York Times called Mr. Chernow “as elegant an architect of monumental histories as we’ve seen in decades.” His 1998 biography of John D. Rockefeller, entitled Titan, was nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award and remained on The New York Times bestseller list for sixteen weeks. Both the Times and Timemagazine voted it one of the ten best books of the year while The Times of London praised it as “one of the great American biographies.” A frequent contributor to The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, Mr. Chernow is a familiar figure on national radio and television shows—he has appeared on “Today,” “NBC Nightly News,” “Nightline,” “World News Tonight with Peter Jennings,” “CBS Evening News,” “Charlie Rose,” “Newshour with Jim Lehrer,” C-Span, CNN, Fox News Channel, CNBC, CNNfn, the History Channel, and National Public Radio—and has appeared in numerous documentaries.
His much anticipated biography of Alexander Hamilton, five years in the making, has already been selected as the Main Selection of The Book-of-the-Month Club and the History Book Club.