Review: The Rothschilds, Virginia Cowles

Rating: 3 out of 5

This is a brief glance at the Rothschild family bringing them up to date, or at least as up to date as they were about fifty years ago. I found the book essentially a work of praise for the family, and while I have no ideological qualm about them, I do doubt any “biography” that spans about two hundred years and does no find a single thing that could be criticised.

From the first, the members of the family are brought to the forefront and described in their brilliant schemes in the service of governments and against opposing banking factions. All’s good, but there could have been a lot more depth to the story. While the writing is accessible, it is therefore not a thorough picture that’s painted for the reader’s viewing, and in many a case it seemed that extra effort had been put in to find a quote from (yet another) politician to praise the family.

At the same time, the technological innovativeness which enabled the family to carry out some of its banking manoeuvres was not really described, giving only half a look into what and how they won their fortunes. Therefore, this makes a better (bedtime) story than a good research overview, and there’re plenty of gaps left to fill in after reading this book.

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