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Merchants of War: Barings Bank and William Bingham, Revolutionary Bankers from the War of Independence to the Louisiana Purchase Paperback – 10 Sep 2017
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About the Author
I graduated from Nottingham University with an average degree in Mechanical Engineering, and in subsequent employment descended from the technical cutting edge of nuclear engineering through photographic products and finally to food manufacture, where I found my level of competence, an example of the Peter principle in reverse, perhaps! In the early eighties I started my own food production company, which proved ultimately successful, even if the start was a little shaky. The business was sold a few years later and with the words of my accountant still ringing in my ears, “no, you can’t retire” and “don’t spend all the money on a sports car business”, I moved on. The sports car businesses, Motorsport Classics and Ginetta Cars were not a great financial success, for me at any rate, but interesting nevertheless. A spell in other people’s sports car companies was instructive but also financially unrewarding, and to pay the bills I returned for a while to the food business. With at least some of those bills paid my wife and I reflected on the possibility of moving to Devon where I would mess about in boats and do what I always wanted – write. So we did. In my imagination, days would be spent in the sun on the boat tapping away at the lap-top, firing off occasional articles to boating, motoring and aviation magazines (learning to fly a helicopter was something else my accountant advised against), and banking the cheques. It didn’t work out that way, it rains a lot here, magazines pay peanuts, and elegant prose gets mangled by a sub-editor to fit the page - and anyway what I really wanted to do was write history. So I decided to write history by combining natural curiosity with the structure and analysis that I had acquired in a career of engineering and business. I now just needed some history to write – and I stumbled, almost literally, on the stories behind "Merchants of War“, and previously, "Barings Bank, William Bingham and the Rise of the American Nation”. Researching these books and a sequel, "Same Old Game!" has unearthed so many other stories that need to be pursued, that the quiet retirement is on-hold for the time being.
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