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on 26 July 2015
Fantastically written and informative. This book gives a clear insight into the Rothschild business empire which should be of interest to more than just bankers. Although the book's title emphasizes the power of money, it was the Rothschild's innovation in, and perhaps monopoly of, expedient long distance communication which played a central role in their success. They were quick to build political and business relationships across Europe and act upon the intelligence this gave them in a unified manner.

The book is also interesting from a social and political perspective; the treatment of Jews and how this changes with money; the various revolutions; the banishment of a particular family member; the personalities of Nathan and James. Although another reviewer has said you will find no conspiracy theories here, the book is in fact riddled with examples of corruption, from institutionalized bribery of officials to manipulation of the press. There is plenty of conspiracy it's just presented as straight forward historical fact rather than something more mysterious and sensational.

One has to wonder if the Rothschild's private archive is a fully reliable source of information or if Niall is overly sympathetic to the family, however my suspicions are very limited in this regard. For readers who don't have a background in finance it would have been nice to have some diagrams visually explaining how bond issuing and trading works. Pages upon pages of the book are dedicated to recounting financial transactions, but the underlying mechanics are not given much explanation. This isn't so much a criticism as it is just a wish, as the book can only contain so much peripheral information.

As others have pointed out this book is large and dense, it occasionally quotes French, uses phrases written in Latin and contains words we popolo minuto couldn't possibly ever hope to use in a grammatically correct sentence. I am not an expert on such matters, however I believe he could have achieved the same level of concision without resorting to infrequently used words when there is a common synonym. That said, if it does delve into academic technical terminology, I didn't notice, it just seems a bit unnecessarily wordy in places and is not as accessible as the other history book I have read.
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on 28 October 2013
this was a very inspirational piece of literature. Very well written and filled with many practical examples.
Will highly recommend it.
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VINE VOICEon 31 December 2009
If it is conspiracy theory you are after look elsewhere. If however you want an incredibly well researched book on the House of Rothschild and the periods of history they span then this is a good intelligent read. Ferguson is an historian at the top of his game and he produces the goods here. My only criticism is that I would have liked a bit more juicy gossip and it is very long. However in fairness it is also a huge subject and I don't think it would have been possible to cover it in less pages and Ferguson does history not Hello Magazine
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on 9 April 2014
Reading Niall Fergusons's book about the Rothschilds was a please. Very well documented, captures European history of late XVIII and early XIX centuries as well as the family's moves during those times in their quest to speculate and get rich.
Looking forward to read the sequel.
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on 3 May 2014
I found this book absolutely fascinating although it really is for people very interested in financial history. It's not a light read.

There were a lot of lessons but as I read the quotes from the bankers two centuries ago I thought nothing has changed. My favourite bit is when they are selling governments bonds from European peripheral countries and deriding their customers for being stupid enough to buy them! The quotes could have been taken from an investment bankers email last year.

Even the public criticism of the bankers for their bonuses and huge wealth are exactly the same as today (although minus the anti-Semitism).
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on 14 August 2014
a bit to technical to read.. but a great true story!!
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on 5 April 2014
Well researched and a more balanced view of the family. Strong emphasis on religion and family as the motivations behind the founding members of the House. A useful insight for anyone looking to how international financial markets started and classic example of the first mover advantage.
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on 26 March 2016
I'd expected something more of an overview, but this book goes into considerable detail. A bit too academic for what I wanted, but clearly a lot of research went into compiling this.
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on 3 December 2013
havent completed reading this book yet but i would highly recommend it for anybody with an open mind or anyone who just wants to be shocked
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on 9 September 2015
Excellent condition book
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