Simon Sebag-Montefiore - The World, a Family History

Episode 3,  Nov 09, 2022, 05:40 PM


The celebrated historian Simon Sebag Montefiore spent the three years of lockdown writing a History of the World as seen through its significant families. 

The book is already a best-seller - it’s world history on the grandest and most intimate scale - spanning centuries, continents and cultures, and linking grand themes of war, migration, religion, medicine and technology to the people at the centre of the human drama.

Above, the History of the World is a testament to the huge role family dynasties have played in developing the modern world. The book is, therefore so, relevant to better understanding family capital. 

Simon is himself the product of a family banking dynasty. He’s a descendant of Sir Joseph Sebag-Montefiore (1822-1903), the nephew and heir of the wealthy philanthropist Sir Moses Montefiore considered by some "the most important Jew of the 19th century".

The Montefiore family are descended from a line of wealthy Sephardi Jews who were diplomats and bankers all over Europe and who originated from Morocco and Italy. 

In this podcast interview, we discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the family business model - the Trumps, the Wedgewoods, the Rothschilds, and even the mafia. Also, why the tech titans of the last 30 years - Gates, Bezos and Zuckerberg don’t appear to be inclined to found dynastic businesses.