Brass farthings. Set into some loosely connected generalities on the history of banking (e.g., ""The lending of money goes back to the Phoenicians"") are 20-or-so pages each on the Medici, the Rothschilds, and J. P. Morgan. The section on the Medici broadly summarizes the family's political history; that on the Rothschilds recaps family history with the aid of anecdotes; that on Morgan strings together episodes and anecdotes. The result is mostly platitudes in the first case, somewhat more ""color"" in the last. The information is everywhere negligible--oversimplified or overstated, or both: ""Without the two Morgans, European investment in American railroads and industry would have been insignificant and the great post-Civil War development could not have occurred."" Best forgotten.