All 7 Ron Chernow Books

Ron Chernow is an American biographer and historian. He has written eight books, including the best-selling biographies of Alexander Hamilton and John D. Rockefeller.

Chernow's meticulous research and gift for storytelling make him one of the preeminent historians writing today. His book, Washington: A Life, won the Pulitzer Prize for Biography and the American Book Prize. 

If you're a fan of history or biography, be sure to check out Ron Chernow's books!

Books by Ron Chernow

1. The House of Morgan: An American Banking Dynasty and the Rise of Modern Finance

The House of Morgan

Published: 1990

Pages: 812

The House of Morgan by Ron Chernow is a biography of the powerful and influential J.P. Morgan banking dynasty. The book tells the story of how four generations of Morgans built one of the largest and most influential financial institutions in the world. From its humble beginnings as a small merchant bank, The House of Morgan grew into a powerhouse that helped finance America's growth and stability during times of crisis, such as the stock market crash of 1987.

This book provides a detailed account of the Morgan family's history and its impact on American business and politics. It is an essential read for anyone interested in Wall Street history or the origins of modern finance. And, even if you don't know a single thing about economics, banking, or financial institutions at all, this book is worth reading just for the drama and intrigue.

2. The Warburgs: The Twentieth-Century Odyssey of a Remarkable Jewish Family

The Warburgs

Published: 1995

Pages: 820

In his book, The Warburgs: The Twentieth-Century Odyssey of a Remarkable Jewish Family, Ron Chernow recount the remarkable history of one of America's most influential families. Almost everyone has heard of the Rothchilds, the Medici, and the Rockefellers.

Spawned from a nineteenth-century banking dynasty in Germany, the Warburgs made their mark in many fields, including art, finance, and philanthropy. However, because they were Jewish, they were often the focus of racism and hatred from numerous groups and governments.

Drawing on extensive primary sources, Chernow and his kin have crafted a compelling saga that is sure to appeal to readers of all stripes. While their story is punctuated by tragedy, including almost being nearly wiped out during the Holocaust, the family has also been celebrated for its resilience and contributions to society. And beyond banking, the family also included artists, politicians, and even military members.

This book is so much more than just a story about banking. It is a story about how people can succeed no matter the odds against them.

3. The Death of the Banker

The Death of the Banker

Published: 1997

Pages: 144

One of Chernow's books is a little hard to recommend because the information is not as up to date with financial issues. It is a more accessible and concise primer if you want to understand how banking came about, how it evolved, and how people constantly preach about the death of institutions, and yet that doomsday never arrives. Many times, this is because of the power the banks and Wall Street have over our government and the people assigned to regulate them.

The first part of this book is from a lecture that he gave at the University of Toronto regarding the above-mentioned issues. The last third is an essay that he wrote regarding the Morgans and the Warburgs.

As you can see, these are just quick summaries of them, and if you want to get more in-depth information, you can then read the full versions of the books.

4. Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr.

Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr.

Published: 1998

Pages: 774

Born into a modest household, with a father who was a scam artist and philanderer, and to a pious and caring mother, how John D. Rockefeller became one of the richest men in the U.S.A. is a fantastic story.

Known to be ruthless, Rockefeller made Standard Oil Company one of the most powerful monopolies as it owned more than 90% of all oil produced in this country. And woe to anyone, including the government, who tried to stop him or break it up. In fact, it took over three decades until Teddy Roosevelt was able to bust it up.

Rockefeller's positive side is also examined as he was often incredibly gracious, generous, and a patron of the arts. If not for his being a robber baron in so many other ways, there never would have been the Rockefeller Foundation which has helped so many people worldwide.

Using his private paper and information gathered from characters as disparate as Mark Twain, William Randolph Hearst, William James, and even noted psychologist Carl Jung. This is must-read.

5. Alexander Hamilton


Published: 2005

Pages: 818

Alexander Hamilton was one of America's Founding Fathers and one of the country's most influential early leaders. He was a significant figure in the ratification of the Constitution and played a central role in shaping American economic policy. Hamilton also served as the first U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, establishing many essential procedures and rules for financial systems still in use today.

However, many don't know the origin of this man. This includes being born an orphan in the Caribbean, and so much else he had to endure to become such an influential figure in history. This includes his agreements and disagreements with so many others, including Alexander Hamilton, John Adams, and his eventual murderer, Aaron Burr, among others. This biography by Ron Chernow is an excellent overview of Alexander Hamilton's life and accomplishments.

It is well-researched and provides detailed insights into all aspects of Hamilton's life, from his relationships to his political career.

NOTE: This book was the inspiration for the Broadway musical, Hamilton written and directed by Lin-Manuel Miranda. If you have seen it or plan to see it, this book will be immensely enlightening into his character and the times.

>> More books about Alexander Hamilton

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6. Washington: A Life

Washington: A Life

Published: 2010

Pages: 928

This book provides a detailed look at George Washington's political and military career, as well as his personal life. It covers his life from his childhood in Virginia to his service as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War to his eight years as president of the United States.

Strangely enough, even though he is famous, most people think of him as a stuffy and dull man because of how he has been portrayed in media. However, Washington was not only an incredibly adept politician, but he was also fond of dancing, horse riding, and so much more.

It offers exciting insights into Washington's character and sheds light on some of the crucial decisions he made during his lifetime. Some of these include the separation of federal vs. states powers, building up what would become the presidency, and working with a wildly divergent group of others to build this young nation.

If you're interested in learning more about our country's history, I recommend picking up a copy of Washington: A Life. You won't be disappointed!

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7. Grant


Published: 2017

Pages: 1074

Grant can sometimes be overlooked more than Hamilton or Washington on this list. Chernow seeks to dispel Grant's many myths and give readers a fuller understanding of this complex man. In this book, Chernow paints a comprehensive portrait of Ulysses S. Grant – from his brilliant but difficult upbringing to his heroic role in the Civil War to his two-term presidency plagued by corruption scandals.

Grant is not just another biography; it is also a history of America during the Civil War and Reconstruction. It also delves into his desire to destroy the Ku Klux Klan and earn justice for African American people.

There is so much more that is brought to light with this biography that you will be amazed and astonished by his accomplishments. Chernow brings this fascinating period to life with meticulous research and superb storytelling.

If you're interested in American history or simply want to learn more about one of our country's most underrated presidents, then we highly recommend reading Grant.

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