It’s Out! The Lion Wakes: A Modern History of HSBC

10 03 2015

The Lion Wakes: A Modern History of HSBC by David Kynaston and Richard Roberts was published a few days ago. This book has been eagerly anticipated by a number of historians.

The Lion Wakes tells the modern story of HSBC, starting in the late 1970s, when the bank first broke out of the Asia-Pacific region with its purchase of Marine Midland Bank in the US. It follows HSBC’s battle to purchase Midland Bank in1992, the subsequent move of head office from Hong Kong to London, and the string of acquisitions that brought the bank to its pre-eminent place in global finance today. Acclaimed historians Richard Roberts and David Kynaston chronicle the bank’s struggles as well as its successes: the last part of the book deals with the ill-fated move into consumer finance in the US, as well as the financial crisis of 2008 and its effect on HSBC. Impeccably researched and generously illustrated from the HSBC archives, this is a valuable addition to global financial history.

At least one review has already been published. Given that HSBC has been in the news a fair bit recently, I’m certain that this book will be a publishing success!

David Kynaston is a critically acclaimed historian and author, and the recipient of a Spear’s Book Award for his lifetime achievement as a British historian. His books include a three volume history of postwar Britain; Austerity Britain (longlisted for The Orwell Prize), Family Britainand Modernity Britain (longlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize), which has sold 150,000 copies, as well as a four-volume history of the City of London, and the centenary history of the Financial Times. Richard Roberts, a professor at King’s College London, is the author of studies of Schroders, Equitable Life, Orion, and the financial crisis of 1914.

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