Bagehot: The Life and Times of the Greatest Victorian (Paperback)

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“Excellent… and written in a gripping style.” —The Economist


During the upheavals of 2007–09, the chairman of the Federal Reserve had the name of one Victorian icon on the tip of his tongue: Walter Bagehot. Banker, man of letters, and inventor of the Treasury bill, Bagehot prescribed the doctrines that—decades later—inspired the radical responses to the world’s worst financial crises. Persuasive and precocious, he was also the esteemed editor of the Economist. He offered astute commentary on the financial issues of his day, held sway in political circles, made as many high-profile friends as enemies, and won the admiration of Matthew Arnold and Woodrow Wilson. Drawing on a wealth of historical documents, correspondence, and publications, James Grant paints a vivid portrait of the banker and his world.



About the Author


James Grant founded Grant’s Interest Rate Observer, a financial markets journal, and authored Bagehot and 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.

Praise For…


A gem of a book: entertaining, wry, and gloriously eccentric.
— Sebastian Mallaby

Bagehot was a financial journalist with a love of English literature and a facility for clear and cogent prose. So is Mr. Grant.… Bagehot is a terrific and efficient survey of the political and economic disputations of mid-Victorian England.

— Barton Swaim

Very enjoyable… Grant demonstrates that he has the measure of a fascinating—and great—Victorian.
— John Plender

Lively.… Entertaining.
— John Lanchester

James Grant [is] one of the most influential contemporary commentators on Wall Street.… In Grant’s hands, Bagehot’s life and career provide a superb prism through which to observe the extraordinary revolution in the British economy during the 19th century.
— Simon Nixon

Excellent.
— Benjamin Schwarz

The most perceptive and brilliant economic and political writer of his time deserves a biographer of equal literary merit. In James Grant, Walter Bagehot has found him.
— Mervyn King, former governor of the Bank of England and author of The End of Alchemy


Product Details
ISBN: 9780393358285
ISBN-10: 0393358283
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Publication Date: July 28th, 2020
Pages: 384
Language: English