In the century between Waterloo and the First World War, the Rothschilds were the world's supreme financiers and its wealthiest dynasty. No bank before or since has wielded comparable power. Yet their rise from the gloom of the Frankfurt ghetto has long been shrouded in mythology. Niall Ferguson is the first historian to have been granted unrestricted access to all the surviving Rothschild archives - including documents hidden for half a century in the KGB's special archive. Here, in the first of his definitive two-volume history, he explains how the five sons of Mayer Amschel Rothschild amassed their unmatched fortune by transforming international finance, and reveals the full extent of their political influence in the age of revolution and reaction.
'Gives us a sense of the great Rothschild drama... Ferguson's work reaffirms one's faith in the possibility of great historical writing.'
Fritz Stern, New Republic