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Nonfiction: Biography, History
Unabridged   10 hour(s)
Publication date: 08/06/2019


The Life and Times of the Greatest Victorian

Available from major retailers or BUY FROM AMAZON
Audio CD ISBN:9781684570645
Digital Download ISBN:9781684570652


The definitive biography of one of the most brilliant and influential financial minds—banker, essayist, and editor of the Economist.

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Product Description

During the upheavals of 2007–09, the chairman of the Federal Reserve had the name of a Victorian icon on the tip of his tongue: Walter Bagehot. Banker, man of letters, inventor of the Treasury bill, and author of Lombard Street, the still-canonical guide to stopping a run on the banks, Bagehot prescribed the doctrines that—decades later—inspired the radical responses to the world's worst financial crises.

Born in the small market town of Langport, just after the Panic of 1825 swept across England, Bagehot followed in his father's footsteps and took a position at the local family bank—but his influence on financial matters would soon spread far beyond the county of Somerset. Persuasive and precocious, he came to hold sway in political circles, making high-profile friends, including William Gladstone—and enemies, such as Lord Overstone and Benjamin Disraeli. As a prolific essayist on wide-ranging topics, Bagehot won the admiration of Matthew Arnold and Woodrow Wilson, and delighted in paradox. He was also a misogynist, and while he opposed slavery, he misjudged Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War. As editor of the Economist, he offered astute commentary on the financial issues of his day, and his name lives on in an eponymous weekly column. He has been called "the Greatest Victorian."


“Thoughtful, evenhanded, and frequently witty....It is a measure of Grant’s talent as a biographer that Bagehot appears as scintillating and charismatic as he is reputed to have been in life. Even readers not normally drawn to economic subjects will find themselves enjoying this lively and erudite biography and guide to financial Victoriana.” —Publishers Weekly

“Essential for readers with an interest in the history of economics and, more important, how to write about and read the dismal science.” —Kirkus

“Grant’s readable work both illuminates Bagehot’s life and places his writings in the conservative gold standard context of his time.” —Library Journal

Author Bio

James Grant founded Grant's Interest Rate Observer, a financial markets journal, and authored The Forgotten Depression, which won the Hayek Prize. His writing has appeared in the Financial Times and the Wall Street Journal. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.