This is the first biography of the man who, as J.P. Morgan’s CEO and the leading banker of his generation, helped establish U.S. economic policy through his broad-reaching financial, political and social connections.
Thomas W. Lamont began life as the son of a Methodist parson. By the time he was forty he was a partner with J.P. Morgan & Co. Within a decade he emerged as chief executive. With the powerful Morgan bank at the pinnacle of domestic and international finance, Lamont was in the middle of economic history as it was being made—from the Versailles Treaty to the New Deal. He was on the inside of many of the most politically charged international events of the time—the Dawes Loan and the Young Plan negotiations on German reparations, the disputes over the Allies’ war debt, the Japanese domination of Manchuria, the Mexican debt debacle, and the rancorous American debate over aid to embattled England before Pearl Harbor.
Lamont advised presidents, prime ministers and their lieutenants for more than twenty-five years. Woodrow Wilson, Herbert Hoover, Franklin Roosevelt, and Ramsay MacDonald were among the political leaders who relied on his keen sense of international banking and politics. Benito Mussolini ignored Lamont’s words of caution and paid the price. This intimate biography also tells the personal story behind the public figure by exploring Lamont’s friendships with prominent personalities such as Charles Lindbergh, Lady Astor, H.G. Wells, Jan Christiaan Smuts, and dozens of other leading figures.
Edward Lamont offers fresh insights into the turbulent period between the two world wars through this fascinating account of the life of the most influential banker of his era.
Edward M. Lamont was a banker for twenty-three years with the World Bank and J.P. Morgan & Co., Inc. He also worked for the Marshall Plan and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in Washington, DC. He is Chairman of the Children’s Aid Society in New York City. He and his wife, Camille, live in Laurel Hollow, Long Island, New York. Mr. Lamont is a grandson of Thomas W. Lamont.
...depicts the life of a true gentleman who worked largely behind the scenes, whether it involved raising money on Wall Street or negotiating peace in the diplomatic arena. It is to Lamont's credit that he was cultivated by U.S. presidents (Hoover and FDR); he enjoyed the good life and knew 'everyone work knowing.
[Lamont] offers a thorough portrait based on previously unreleased and extensive personal and family correspondence...Not only do we get a firsthand look at history in the making, but we also get glimpses of major social and cultural personalities...Recommended.