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High Financier: The Lives and Time of Siegmund Warburg Hardcover – 1 Jul 2010


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Allen Lane (1 July 2010)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 0713998717
  • ISBN-13: 978-0713998719
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 4.8 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 390,846 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Niall Ferguson is one of Britain's most renowned historians. He is Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History at Harvard University, a Senior Research Fellow of Jesus College, Oxford and a Senior Fellow of the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He is the bestselling author of Paper and Iron, The House of Rothschild, The Pity of War, The Cash Nexus, Empire, Colossus, The War of the World and The Ascent of Money. He also writes regularly for newspapers and magazines all over the world.

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Review

Beautifully paced, dramatically subtle and psychologically shrewd, this is Ferguson at his finest (Peter Stormonth Darling Spectator )

Ferguson is a talented writer, capable of grace and insight, but it is his ability as a historian that shows most strongly in High Financier (T. J. Stiles The Washington Post Sunday )

Its many finance lessons aside, High Financier is a pleasure to read simply as a work of literary skill. It is not only prodigiously researched but also splendidly written-clear and vivid and precise, perhaps even of enough merit to satisfy a word-stickler like Siegmund Warburg (Wall Street Journal )

A timely, original and engaging biography of Siegmund Warburg (Sathnam Sanghera The Times )

This book is both a notable contribution to economic history and a fascinating portrait (Geoffrey Owen Telegraph )

About the Author

Niall Ferguson is one of Britain's most renowned historians. He is Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History at Harvard University, a Senior Research Fellow of Jesus College, Oxford and a Senior Fellow of the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He is the bestselling author of Paper and Iron, The House of Rothschild, The Pity of War, The Cash Nexus, Empire, Colossus, The War of the World and The Ascent of Money. He also writes regularly for newspapers and magazines all over the world.

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Customer Reviews

2.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 44 people found the following review helpful By J. K. Tseng on 14 July 2010
Format: Hardcover
As an City person, a history graduate (I remember popping into one or two of the Fergusons undergrad lectures back in the day) and (briefly) a Warburgs employee I was looking forward to this book. Particularly after all the laudatory press coverage (Economist, FT, Guarniad).

It's OK, but not that good.

Ferguson is good on Warburg's early years and the formative influence of Weimar and his wartime career. Clearly his previous work (Paper & Iron, Rothschilds) serves him well and he knows his ground. The book is also strong on the wider economic perspectives for some of Warburg's economic innovations e.g. the Eurobond.

The second half, dealing with the rise (and fall) of SG Warburg the firm is, to put it bluntly, weak. It lacks narrative structure and Ferguson fails to put the story into perspective. He simply takes it as read SGW was a blazing success without setting it in the wider context. What was the competition doing differently? What did SGW did better? Instead we get disjoined vignettes on Warburg's counselling of Wilson, his foray into Eurobonds, his ferocious work ethic. Good reportage but poor history.

The books conclusions feel hurried. It wraps up with a rather rushed recap of the fall of the house of Warburg (largely cribbed from Augar - cf footnote 144) which adds little insight. It finishes with a banal jeremiad about the value of relationship banking over transaction banking. True but hardly a devastating insight in this day or age. Commentators have been bemoaning the death of relationship banking since well before JPM took on Caz. What's new?

Other things do not feel right.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Genevazurich on 28 Aug 2010
Format: Hardcover
A very disappointing book. It seems like someone from the Warburg family commissioned this book from Mr. Ferguson who was too busy or lacked the motivation to write a truly interesting book. A lot of focus on uninspiring details when other important issues are under-researched.
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1 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. Jacqueline Little on 12 Dec 2010
Format: Hardcover
This book will be of interest to the person for whom I have purchased it. I was pleased with the prompt delivery and condition of the book.
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