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Morgan: American Financier Paperback – 22 Mar 2000

4.7 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 848 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial (22 Mar. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060955899
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060955892
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 3.5 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,652,008 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

As Americans cope with the social and industrial changes wrought by the computer age, we seem ready to view with more sympathy the men who shaped the similarly disruptive economic revolution at the turn of the last century. Less than a year after Titan, Ron Chernow's sweeping biography of capitalist par excellence John D. Rockefeller, comes Jean Strouse's searching analysis of J.P. Morgan (1837-1913), the merchant banker whose financial prowess enabled the great American businesses to grow and thrive. Like Chernow, Strouse takes a nuanced view of a man reviled by his contemporaries as a sinister monopolist. Morgan sought to stabilise the volatile American economy and raise the cash needed to fuel its meteoric expansion. His methods were controversial, particularly his fondness for industrial "combinations" that dampened competition, but Strouse's lucid résumé of the historical backdrop illuminates the thinking behind Morgan's actions. As in her groundbreaking biography of Alice James, the author never settles for received wisdom, instead reading previously neglected documents with a sharp eye to offer a fresh interpretation. She vividly limns Morgan's imperious personality and such extracurricular interests as his superb art collection. But it's Strouse's ability to clearly convey complex financial material that distinguishes this book. Her chapter on the panic of 1907, which Morgan was instrumental in halting, is as exciting as a good thriller and far more instructive. --Wendy Smith, Amazon.com --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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Format: Paperback
A superb book which unearths new information on one of the most important men in early 20th century America. Morgan was not just the most famous banker who ever lived. By 1900 Morgan also controlled some of the most important railway lines in America and a year later helped organise the creation of the US Steel corporation which was then the largest corporation in the world. Today he is perhaps most credited with founding the Investment bank J P Morgan which still remains one of the largest in the world. Jean Strouse's novel brings a great deal more about Morgan into the open. He was a huge art collector and philanthropist who endowed various art galleries and he had a somewhat colourful private life. Today there is virtually no one alive who wields the amount of power and influence that Morgan had in his day. Jean Strouse's book paints a picture of man who was almost a cross between Alan Greenspan and Bill Gates but with more power and money than either of them.
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Format: Hardcover
Jean Strouse is a biographer of massive talent and ability. This biography of Morgan goes far and away beyond a dissection of the man. She beautifully portrays him in the context of his world and describes his passion for New York City. Read this book and you'll see that Morgan, perhaps more than any other person, created the great city we know today.

She also has a writing style that I have only ever encountered once before, namely Cecil Woodham Smith (a lady). She has perfected the ability to write intense research and scholarship in a way that makes the biography leap into life and it almost reads like a novel such is her huge talent to record history. Only the very best writing teaches you anything. By the time I'd finished this substantial work I was amazed by how much I had retained - and there's a lot in this book!
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By DOPPLEGANGER TOP 500 REVIEWER on 26 Nov. 2010
Format: Hardcover
.......AND A MIGHTY WORK from the pen of highly acclaimed American biographer, Jean Strouse, who first won acclaim (as well as a Bancroft Prize) for 'Alice James: A Biography' which appeared in 1980.

To encapsulate the life and character of J P Morgan into a mere 800 pages must have been a challenging mission. His tremendous physical effect on people; one man said that a visit from Morgan left him feeling "as if a gale had blown through the house." Physically large with massive shoulders, piercing eyes and a purple nose, because of a chronic skin disease, which worsened over the years into a profusion of pits, nodules, fissures, lobulations, and pedunculation contort of the nose, must have portrayed an awesome and slightly frightening spectre, to those that met him.

Then there was the inner man and his formidable array of talents, single-mindedness, achievements, colossal sphere of worldwide influence, and commercial success. Add to this his vital contribution in directing the banking coalition that stopped The Panic of 1907, his notable collection of books, pictures, clocks and other art objects, his important collection of gems, and one can admire the way that Jean Strouse has gone about 'accounting' for Morgan's 'immense' life, with a sense of balance, a light touch when 'over dramatising would have been tempting, and delivering a biography of great interest and readability.It is a significant contribution to the understanding and appreciation of John Pierpoint Morgan and the commercial and political climates of the era, during which he reigned virtually unchallenged the world of finance - the like of which will, suely not be seen again.

It is perhaps a testament to his founding conservative influence that J P Morgan & Co has survived a number of national and global systemic banking 'meltdowns' and is today one of the world's foremost financial institutions.

A fine book, assembled with consummate artistry.
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