This book traces the lives of one of the great German Jewish banking families from its beginnings through the end of the 20th century. The M. M. Warburg Bank was started in 1798 in Hamburg and flourished modestly through the 19th century under the guidance of one family member or another. At the end of the century control fell to Moritz Warburg and his 22 year old son Max. It was Max who built the banking company into a major economic force in Germany and the larger world up until the Nazi take over in the 1930's.
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The family branched out into the United States when Max's brothers, Paul and Felix, married into wealthy New York banking families. Chernow describes Paul's importance in American politics as perhaps the major force in the inception of the Federal Reserve System and Felix's significance in charitable work.
Following the family through the twentieth century, Chernow details Jimmy Warburg's involvement in the Democratic Party as an advisor to Adlai Stevenson, Eric Warburg's career in intelligence work for the United States Army, and Sir Siegmund Warburg's financial successes in London after World War II, as well as the lives and careers of many other members of the family.
The review of this Book prepared by Jack Goodstein