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Comment: Condition: Very good condition., Binding: Paperback / Publisher: Yale University Press / Pub. Date: 2009-04-14 Attributes: Book, 200 pp / Illustrations: B&W Illustrations Stock#: 2023985 (FBA) * * *This item qualifies for FREE SHIPPING and Amazon Prime programs! * * *
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Wall Street: America's Dream Palace (Icons of America) Paperback – April 14, 2009


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Product Details

  • Series: Icons of America
  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press (April 14, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300151438
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300151435
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,095,452 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Fraser, historian and author, reviews the complicated love-hate relationship between Americans and the financial markets by using Wall Street as the symbol of money and its power. By identifying four personality types that reappear throughout history, he explores more than 200 years of struggle between wealth and work, democracy and elitism, and greed and salvation. These types include the “pretentious aristocrat,” from the 1792 speculator who was jailed for causing the first crash, to Michael Milken, who was jailed  in the 1980s for speculation in junk bonds. Fraser’s “wily confidence-man” category with numerous names tells us that such individuals are ever present in a market society. The “imperial heroes” include Cornelius Vanderbilt and “Jubilee Jim” Fisk—the latter identified as “the Donald Trump of the nineteenth century.” The “immoralist,” the sinner category, includes the Gilded Age’s Jay Gould and the “cascade of financial scandals beginning with Enron.” This is an excellent book that traces the history of Wall Street through those who shaped it, for better or for worse. --Mary Whaley --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

“In this age of agitated amnesiacs, Americans have forgotten that nothing is new – that in other times money and power were forged into a conspiracy against the public. Steve Fraser connects vividly to that past, reminding us that this present financial crisis is not the first time our hearts have been broken by Wall Street peddlers of the American Dream.” – Bill Moyers 

(Bill Moyers)

"This book is written with Fraser’s customary panache and scrupulous attention to detail. If you’re after a fascinating take on one of our ultimate icons, this is it.”—Mike Wallace, John Jay College (CUNY), co-author of Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898
(Mike Wallace)

"Provides a rich historical context from which to reflect on the purpose and morality of our financial markets."—Robert Shiller, author of Irrational Exuberance
(Robert Shiller)

"I don't know of a better book about Wall Street's hold on the American imagination. Were it to be listed as a stock on the New York exchange, I'd bet on the quadrupling of its price in the first day's trading."—Lewis Lapham
(Lewis Lapham)

"Fraser is almost lyrical as he weaves together his tale of how the image of Wall Street fits into American culture and mythology. . . . His book is . . . recommended for larger business collections in both public and academic libraries."—Library Journal
(Library Journal 2008-04-15)

"Fraser . . . reviews the complictaed love-hate relationship between Americans and the financial markets by using Wall Street as the symbol of money and its power. . . . This is an excellent book that traces the history of Wall Street through those who shaped it, for better or for worse."—Booklist
(Booklist 2008-05-01)

"The history of American attitudes toward the financiers of Wall Street, as shown in newspapers, novels and prosecutions, is the subject of Fraser's book. It's  a remarkable tale, not just for the plain facts of what they did but also for the dramatic swings in their image. Were they heroes or con men, aristocrats or immoral scoundrels? It depended on the era, and to some extent on whether their successes seemed to be enriching the rest of us."—Floyd Norris, New York Times Book Review
(Floyd Norris New York Times Book Review 2008-04-20)

Click here to listen to an interview with the author on the <a href='http://yalepress.yale.edu/yupbooks/podcast.asp'><b>Yale Press Podcast</b></a>.
(http://yalepress.yale.edu/yupbooks/podcast/Addendum_Fraser.mp3 2008-03-01)

"Wall Street is the fabled heart of American capitalism. And according to historian and author Steve Fraser, four metaphorical images are central to the Wall Street mystique: The Aristocrat, The Confidence Man, The Hero, and The Immoralist. In his delightfully written, sweeping history Wall Street, he shows how those four types have continually appeared and re-appeared throughout U.S. stock market and business history, as citizens react to the ups and downs of the business cycles and the towering figures who dominated each era."—David D'Alessandro, Toronto Globe & Mail
(David D'Alessandro Toronto Globe & Mail 2008-08-13)

"The history of American attitudes toward the financiers of Wall Street . . . [is] a remarkable tale. . . . Were they heroes or con men, aristocrats or immoral scoundrels?"—Floyd Norris, New York Times Book Review
(Floyd Norris New York Times Book Review 2008-04-20)

"In his delightfully written, sweeping history Wall Street, [Fraser] shows how . . . citizens react to the ups and downs of the business cycles and the towering figures who dominated each era."—David D'Alessandro, Toronto Globe & Mail
(David D'Alessandro Toronto Globe & Mail 2008-08-13)

"Fraser is almost lyrical as he weaves together his tale of how the image of Wall Street fits into American culture and mythology."—Library Journal
(Library Journal 2008-04-15)

“Fraser is the foremost chronicler of the nation's love-hate, codependent relationship with Wall Street.”—Greg Burns, Chicago Tribune
 
(Greg Burns Chicago Tribune 2008-10-13)

“This interesting history . . . will appeal to anyone interested in financial history or the development of Wall Street. . . . Recommended. All collections.”—Choice
(Choice 2008-10-01)

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Paul Tognetti TOP 500 REVIEWER on July 15, 2008
Format: Hardcover
There are few institutions in America that evoke such strong emotions among the general public. For over two centuries most Americans have viewed the goings on on Wall Street with a very jaundiced eye....and with very good reason. From the Gilded Age to the dot.com boom of the 1990's the way business was conducted on Wall Street would have an enormous impact of the lives of farmers, factory workers and shopkeepers across this nation. Author Steve Fraser has managed to capture the essence of this love-hate relationship with the Street in his marvelous new book "Wall Street: America's Dream Palace".

For those who know little about the origins of Wall Street Steve Fraser presents a brief history in his Introduction to get us all up to speed. Interestingly enough, this book has only four chapters, each scrutinizing the roles of what Fraser considers to be four iconic Wall Street types including the aristocrat, the confidence man, the hero and the immoralist. In each chapter, Fraser presents vivid portraits of those legendary individuals who for better or for worse have made their mark in the world of high finance. Fraser spotlights such diverse charactors as J.P. Morgan, Cornelius Vanderbilt, Charles Ponzi and Michael Milken to name but a few. Fraser also discusses at some length how the dot.com boom lured many Americans into the stock market for the very first time and how so many of us were burned by the unscrupulous actions of con men like Michael Milken, corporations like Enron and WorldCom, as well as by a variety of unsavory speculators and day traders.

Overall I found "Wall Street: America's Dream Palace" to be an extremely informative and highly enjoyable read. I enjoy writers with outstanding vocabularies and Steve Fraser can turn a phrase with the best of them. Lots of great information packed into this terrific little book. Highly recommended!
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Robert H. Burroughs on June 21, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Steve Fraser has a wonderful, crisp style that moves your eye
along the page and onto the next. This is one of those rare
non-fiction books you wish were longer.
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Deborah Tannenbaum on June 4, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Wonderful, thorough history of the banking industry and Wall Street since the inception of this country. A must read!
Debb
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Michael Emmett Brady on January 17, 2009
Format: Hardcover
The author has written another excellent expose showing what ultimately happens when a forgetful public allows Wall Street speculators,aided and supported in their securitization schemes by the big investment banks (These types of institutions currently no longer exist after their financial collapse in 2008.However, one can be assured that, with the passage of time, speculators will attempt to regroup and start their schemes again) and commercial banks,to dominate the capital and credit markets of the United States.

The following quote pretty much sums up the book :" With the active connivance of many of the Street's most powerful investment banks,not just Enron but a slew of major corporations-Tyco,WorldCom,Adelphia,QWest Communications,Arthur Anderson-turned out to be little more than stupendous confidence games designed by top management to defraud the investing public..."(pp.90-91).Of course,large numbers of financial analysts,with their MBA degree training in the Efficient Market Hypothesis telling them that speculative bubbles could not exist,were needed to provide the fig leaf of " economic analysis " to support the constantly rising bubble prices.

I have subtracted away 1/2 of a star because the author is unaware that Adam Smith,back in 1776,had already provided a complete analysis warning his readers of the consequences of allowing unregulated commercial banks from teaming up with speculators to put their " projects " into reality.Smith's conclusion,that all of the savings of the banks' depositors would end up being wasted and destroyed is as true to day in 2009 as it was back in 1776.
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