Summary of Money and Power

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Money and Power book summary
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getAbstract International Book Award Winner 2001

9 Overall

6 Applicability

9 Innovation

10 Style


This volume, based on a PBS documentary, is as much about the unique characters who drove the evolution of business as it is about vast historic trends. Author Howard Means blends the color of a cinematic treatment with the rich context and detail of a comprehensive history. In so doing, he’s accomplished the ultimate historian’s goal: Presenting history in such a way that it is clearly relevant to modern-day life, and in this case, business. From biblical moneychangers to the miraculously large pool of Microsoft millionaires, Means traces the history of commerce from the perspective of power, asking who acquired it, how they amassed it, how they used it and what became of it? recommends his intense narrative to anyone in business, since business is about money, and money is, after all, power.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How the modern banking system was founded on centuries of trade; and
  • How the money and power of business tycoons, such as J.P. Morgan, John D. Rockefeller, Henry Ford and Bill Gates, have influenced history.

About the Author

Howard Means has written or co-written several books, and is a senior editor at Washingtonian magazine. His books include The 500 Year Delta, Colin Powell: A Biography and The Visionary’s Handbook , as well as the novel, C.S.A. His books have been published in more than ten countries and have appeared on business bestseller lists. He won two William Allen White medals for writing. David Grubin , author of the foreword, is a producer, director, writer and cinematographer who has won eight Emmy awards and has produced more than 100 films, Grubin received a Guggenheim Fellowship and was a Montgomery Fellow at Dartmouth College. He produced Money and Power , the PBS documentary that was the basis for this book.



Hail the Moneychangers
The moneychangers of the Bible were the earliest ancestors of today’s bankers. Economists tell us that despite their poor public reputation, they provided a valuable service, even then, as they helped stabilize currency fluctuations among various regions.

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