Books: Money's Royalty

THE ROTHSCHILDS (305 pp.)—Frederic Morton—Atheneum ($5.95).

From time to time, real life apparently decides to put fiction's eye out and creates characters like Byron, monarchs like Louis XIV, and families like the Rothschilds.

Real life provided the Rothschilds with too much of everything—luck, power, possessions. As fiction, their story lacks only one thing: suspense. The Rothschilds played every trick; they also won every trick. Inside one generation, the founder's five sons resembled a hand whose jeweled fingers covered the map of Europe. In succeeding generations, while thrones toppled and nations faced bankruptcy, the...

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