Title: The Rothschild's:A Family of Fortune
Author: Virginia Cowles
I read this for about two weeks ago. I have to say it is a very informative book on the richest family in the world. The main interesting area is focused on the 18th century, with Mayer Amschel Rothschild's relationship with Carl Buderus and Prince William of Hesse-Cassel. At this point, you get to learn of Williams indifference towards a Jewish peddler like Mayer. Through the collaboration of Carl Buderus, who was Williams' minister of finance, get to see how Mayer Amschel gains more business through William's business dealings. And eventually, through Mayer's 5 sons, they gain foothold to become the greatest family ever in European History.
Although many aspects of this book do not tell the full detail, some even completely covered up, it is interesting to understand the personality of unique individuals such as Nathan, James, Mayer, and Soloman Rothschild. Nathan was the most powerful, most dominant of all of the Rothschilds. through this book you get to learn that Nathan Mayer was a scrooge with a quick temper but soft heart for his wife Sarah Cohen. It is also very much an education to learn of the powerful men and women of that time, like Napoleon, Napoleon III, Fereires, Prince Metternich of Austria, Bismark of Prussia.
As for the historic accuracy, some of the detail is quite unparalleled, some not told truthfully.
For example, I did not know about Prince Williams investments in British market, During Napoleon's wager on Europe, was at 555,000 pounds. Nor do many books tell you how the transactions were processed cleverly by the teamwork of Mayer Amschel and his 5 sons, in addition also instrumental Carl Buderus. However, Virginia Cowles was not completely truthful to how Nathan multiplied his initial stake 2,500 times, during the time of Wellington's battle with Napoleon.
Something was amiss to how the Rothschild earned 50,000,000 pounds in such a short span without some sort of rational explanation of it. Nathan through teamwork with Soloman, Carl, Buderus all earned fees on shipping gold to France, warehousing and selling items, using William's money to gamble on the stock market, during the time of Napoleon's embargo on England.
Nathan's commission of how he smoothed the markets in England, during the Gold infusion into Wellington's Army in Spain, certainly gained him over 1,000,000 pounds says Cowles. Cowles certainly acknowledged that Nathan bought up shares at lower prices of the English exchange, but the price Nathan bought up the shares certainly did not warrant a powerful enough sum to command such wealth as 50,000,000 according to Cowles.
Overall, a very worthwhile book to read. I do caution on the side of skepticism since it was authorized and stamped with approval by the Rothschild family of today. Actually Cowles seems to be a Rothschild sympathizer and , even a good friend to the Rothschild family. But some of the information she published was very golden and worthwhile. If I have anything to add, it'll be on this thread..