Many people have, at best, a love-hate relationship with their bank. Unless you simply stuff your cash under the mattress, you need one--but the service you receive may seem too little and the charges too high. That said, do you want to read about one? A book about Barclays may not seem immediately appealing; one subtitled "The Decline of Barclays Bank" is perhaps a little more interesting; one by an author with inside knowledge and a P45 to show for it is better still.
Falling Eagle is part history, part exposé. It tracks the bank from its 19th-century origins to the present day, liberally peppering the narrative with revealing anecdotes. It dissects the organization and its hierarchical structure, charts the bank's successes (it was the first to install cash dispensers and move away from the traditional bank layout to something more like a high street shop) and chronicles its troubles, of which there have been many over the years (for example with the ill-fated BZW, Barclay's investment division).
Perhaps a little self-indulgence creeps into the writing as the troubles are unfolded--the author gives the impression of feeling he is well out of it--but the net effect makes an enthralling story. Well-researched, well-written and entertainingly presented, Falling Eagle is a title that deserves much wider readership than the average corporate biography. --Patrick Forsyth
The gripping inside story of how Barclays ¿ once Britain¿s leading bank ¿ was brought to its knees.