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Publisher's Summary

The New York Times bestselling history of the rise of the most powerful and privileged Jewish families in America

They immigrated to America from Germany in the nineteenth century with names like Loeb, Sachs, Seligman, Lehman, Guggenheim, and Goldman. From tenements on the Lower East Side to Park Avenue mansions, this handful of Jewish families turned small businesses into imposing enterprises and amassed spectacular fortunes. But despite possessing breathtaking wealth that rivaled the Astors and Rockefellers, they were barred by the gentile establishment from the lofty realm of "the 400," a register of New York's most elite, because of their religion and humble backgrounds. In response, they created their own elite "100," a privileged society as opulent and exclusive as the one that had refused them entry.

"Our Crowd" is the fascinating story of this rarefied society. Based on letters, documents, diary entries, and intimate personal remembrances of family lore by members of these most illustrious clans, it is an engrossing portrait of upper-class Jewish life over two centuries; a riveting story of the bankers, brokers, financiers, philanthropists, and business tycoons who started with nothing and turned their family names into American institutions.

©1967 Stephen Birmingham (P)2019 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved. The Macmillan Company for the letters of Otto Kahn which appeared in "The Many Lives of Otto Kahn" by Mary Jane Mate, © 1963 by Margaret D. Ryan.

What listeners say about "Our Crowd"

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  • donna60
  • 29-07-2019

Very informative

I really enjoyed learning about the history of these great families. As an immigrant who came to the US at the age of 9, I am now 60, it has given me more insight into the history of the great families of New York.
A terrific read for those who would like to learn more about the famous financial institutions.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Shayla
  • 28-03-2021

Finance heavy

This was wayyyy too finance heavy. 30% in you’re still talking about railroad bonds. I say this as someone who has a background in finance and often reads nonfiction finance books. That’s just not what this book pitches itself as. I wanted a nonfiction tale of posh high society in NY and I got bonds and trade discussions. Maybe it gets better at some point but I had to walk away after wasting so many hours.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Peter Ryers
  • 16-01-2021

Excellent

I am Jewish so this history is particularly interesting to me. If turn of the century history, finance, and social history is of interest to the reader this book will not disappoint.

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  • Yanomami
  • 31-10-2020

Fantastic history of the German Jews that came to the USA and created Financial empires in a matter of decades.

The ultimate rags to riches story of the German Jews that came to the USA in the mid-late 1800’s and created some of the country’s leading financial corporations. This is the story of the Seligmans, Loebl, Kahns , Schiffs, Lehmans, Goldman and Sachs families and how they built their empires. Great feeling for the NY of the turn of the century.

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  • Paul
  • 21-10-2020

Very informative

This was a lite book that was enjoyable to listen to. Very amusing informative and entertaining it’s amazing how much money these people had and what an amazing lifestyle they had

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  • Profound Glass
  • 18-04-2021

Great listen

Some parts a little dry but fascinating look at Jewish history in NY from the vantage point of the mid 1960s.

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  • Will Roche
  • 11-04-2021

America is the story of Jewish heritage

Jewish immigrants were an instrumental part of making America great!

Not taught in schools!

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  • Dr. Bill- Northern NJ-USA
  • 20-03-2021

Anti-Semitic Jews

These are Jews who had no connection with their religion-they did absolutely nothing to aid the Jews of Europe during the Holocaust despite their money and power on the world stage- money and the prestige that came with it were their primary concern

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  • Phyllis
  • 15-10-2020

Patronizing Narration

The awful narrator ruined what might have been mildly interesting. Sing-song voice was grating and annoying.

The chapters were frequently full of nothing but a litany of names, relationships, and marriages. Boring in the extreme.

So much potential unrealized.

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  • Chris
  • 15-10-2020

Brilliant!

Really colors in the events leading up to the 1940’s New York. Well worth the listen!

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