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David Kynaston’s ground-breaking history of the City of London, published in four volumes between 1994 and 2001, is a modern classic. Skilfully edited into a single volume by David Milner, it tells a story as dramatic as any novel, while explaining the mysteries of the financial world in a way that we can all understand.

The ‘Square Mile’, London’s financial powerhouse,rose to prominence with the defeat of Napoleon in 1815. David Kynaston’s vibrant history brings this world to life, taking us from the railway boom of the 1830s to the ‘Golden Age’, between 1890 and 1914, when Britain’s legendary gold standard reigned supreme. Times were harder between the two World Wars, when the Citywas affected by the Wall Street Crash, pressured by politicians anxious for votes, trade unions and industrialists. But by the end of the twentieth century the City had regained a precarious global might, although it could hardly be said to be ‘British’ at all – yet as the importance of the Rothschilds, Schroders and Kleinworts suggests, perhaps it never had been. Woven throughout are the stories of four individuals who shaped the City in different ways – Nathan Rothschild, Ernest Cassel, Montagu Norman and Siegmund Warburg. But the realm of great bankers and brokersis also the workplace of young clerks throwing paper darts, typists bringing in their sandwiches, and sad racketeers watching aghast as the markets fall. Above all, we see what it was like to work in the City – the dress codes, eating habits, work hours, pay, humour, changing architecture and language that forged the unique culture of the Square Mile.Richly entertaining, full of vivid anecdotes, this is a story ofbooms, busts and bankruptcies – from the Kaffir boom to the Marconi scandal, the ‘Big Bang’ deregulation of 1986, and the Barings crash in 1995 – bringing us to the brink of the stormy modern age.


The story is never dry, for Kynaston tells it as human drama... This is economic history at its most glittering.

Simon Jenkins, The Times

A work of breathtaking scope and accomplishment

D.J. Taylor, Independent

Magisterial... Kynaston is compulsively readable on all the great City scandals.

William Keegan, Observer

No one knows more secrets about the City of London than David Kynaston... about what goes on behind the copper-plate facades of old City firms, or in the boardrooms of the gleaming glasshouses. Kynaston is the historian of the City.

Peter Oborne, Sunday Express

Everyone should read David Kynaston's riveting history of the City: a subject too important to be left to the bankers.

John Lanchester, author of Whoops! Why Everyone Owes Everyone and No one Can Pay

Wonderful... This is real history; living history.

Sunday Times

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Formats & editions

  • Trade Paperback


    January 16, 2013


    704 pages

    RRP $55.00

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
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    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook


    December 31, 2011

    Vintage Digital

    704 pages

    Online retailers

    • iBooks
    • Amazon Kindle
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    • eBooks
    • Google Play
    • Kobo

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

Also by David Kynaston

The City Of London Volume 4
The City Of London Volume 3
The City Of London Volume 2
The City Of London Volume 1


Queer City
Private London
The Great Fire of London
The Beautiful Dead
The Witness
The Girls
The Slaughter Man
Parliament: The Biography (Volume II - Reform)
Zeppelin Nights
Capital Crimes
The War on our Doorstep
Walk the Lines
Escape from Baghdad
The Blackest Streets
My Life, Our Times
Ambulance Girls Under Fire
Six Minutes in May