A portrait of four generations of the Morgenthau family, a dynasty of power brokers and public officials with an outsize influence extending from daily life in New York City to the shaping of the American Century.
Andrew Meier makes a 1,046-page case for a different kind of dynasty, one where the protagonists have little in common except their inherited privilege ... Henry Jr's son Robert M. is today probably the best-known Morgenthau, yet Meier’s portrait of him is the weakest in the book ... Meier has little feel for the realities of prosecutors’ offices, and his version of Morgenthau’s career appears unduly reliant on sources in Morgenthau’s network of loyal alumni ... Meier focuses on a pair of investigations that appear to prove the opposite of what he intends ... Meier’s gracefully written account doesn’t neatly cohere along a single theme, but that may just reflect the messy realities of family life.
Sweeping ... Meier’s narrative mixes political drama...with colorful family melodrama ... It’s also a vivid panorama of the New York that made the Morgenthaus: Robert’s career furnishes a string of true crime stories, including the notorious 'Central Park jogger' rape case, that illustrate the city’s racial tensions, mob corruption, and white-collar thievery. The result is a fascinating family portrait on the grandest scale.
Meier draws on hundreds of hours of interviews and prodigious archival research to craft an absorbing narrative following four generations of one of America’s most prominent families ... A majestic, authoritative multigenerational saga.