Synopses & Reviews
History has remembered J. Pierpont Morgan as a complex and contradictory figure, part robber baron and part patron saint. Now this magisterial biography, based extensively on new material, draws a definitive, full-scale portrait of Morgan's tumultuous life both in and out of the public eye.Morgan earned his reputation as "the Napoleon of Wall Street" by reorganizing the nation's railroads and creating some of its greatest industrial trusts, including General Electric and U.S. Steel. At a time when the United States had no Federal Reserve System, he appointed himself a one-man central bank. He had two wives, three yachts, four children, six houses, mistresses, and one of the finest art collections in America. In this extraordinary book, award-winning biographer Jean Strouse vividly portrays the financial colossus, the avid patron of the arts, and the entirely human character behind all the myths.
Brilliantly crafted, epic in scope, Morgan reveals a man we have never seen before, offering new insights on the culture, political struggles, and social conflicts of America's Gilded Age.
"The most credibly praised (as well as the most aggressively promoted) biography in recent years, Strouse's Morgan does far more than put a human face on the Wizard of Wall Street. Instead, the volume provides a rich political, economic, and sociological context permitting the reader to understand and judge J. Pierpont Morgan's ends and means, whose persistently and profoundly controversial character Strouse never obscures. No less important to her is Morgan's 'inner matrix,' especially his odd amalgam of righteousness and libertine sensuality, genius and naïvete, polygotism and inarticulacy, unwavering nationalism and cosmopolitan culture. This account of the forces that drove Morgan's choices as capitalist, collector, and adulterer, both compels and illuminates. A must-read." Reviewed by Andrew Witmer, Virginia Quarterly Review (Copyright 2006 Virginia Quarterly Review)
Award-winning biographer Strouse offers a landmark profile of America's greatest financier--J.P. Morgan--who organized the nation's railroads, created industrial trusts such as General Electric and U.S. Steel, and created a central bank when the nation had no Federal Reserve.
About the Author
Jean Strouse won the Bancroft Prize in American History and Diplomacy for her biography Alice James. She lives in New York City.