This National Book Award finalist by the author of A Nervous Splendor chronicles the rise of the international banking dynasty.
No other family in the past three centuries has been as constantly at the center of European history, amassed as much wealth, or featured so many spectacular personalities, as the Rothschilds. In Frederic Morton's magisterial study, the family is brought vividly to life from its initial rise in 18th century Germany through successive generations down to the 20th.
Here you'll meet Mayer, long-time adviser to Germany's princes, who broke through the barriers of Frankfurt's Jewish ghetto to become the "founding father of international finance"; Lord Alfred, who maintained a private train and played ringmaster at his own private circus; Baron Philippe, whose rarefied vintages bear labels created by artists including Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, and Keith Haring; and Kathleen Nica Rothschild de Koenigswarter, the "jazz baroness," in whose arms Charlie Parker died.
The family itself has been at the center of some of the most crucial moments in history: the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo, the development of the Suez Canal, and the introduction of Jews in the House of Lords. Through it all, the Rothschild name has continued to represent the family ideal, and no author has so nimbly captured their eccentric brilliance as Frederic Morton.