George Grote (1794-1871) was a successful businessman, who came from a family of wealthy bankers. He was so successful in business, he was able to retire in 1843 to devote himself to writing his History of Greece (first published in 1846-1856). He brought a businessman's self-assurance to his task. He was "untroubled by any doubt about the supreme merits of democracy and progress; and he naively adopted the middle-class ideals of his period as a yardstick for measuring the civilization of ancient Greece. The History is, in fact, a paean in praise of political liberty, and he glorified the Athenian democracy as fervently as he misrepresented the despotism of the 'barbarian', Alexander the Great."