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Wall Street: A History Paperback – May 27, 1999

ISBN-13: 978-0195130867 ISBN-10: 0195130863 Edition: Reprint

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; Reprint edition (May 27, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195130863
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195130867
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,248,396 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The comprehensive Wall Street: A History, by Manhattan College finance professor Charles Geisst, is a meticulous examination of the economic cycles, legendary financiers, and monumental transactions that have shaped the fiscal structure of the United States. The sweeping tale ranges from Revolutionary War days to the California Gold Rush, from the Civil War to the Depression, and from the great 1950s bull market to the ongoing 1990s boom. Geisst's narrative is pinned to the relationship between finance and government, and tracks the latter's increasing involvement in the former to show where matters stand today. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Geisst (finance, Manhattan Coll.) highlights the fluctuations of The Street during the past 200 years. From the beginnings in the 1790s, when auctioneers and dealers conducted curbside transactions, to the "merger mania" of the 1980s and 1990s, Geisst shows how events in our country affected Wall Street and how Wall Street deals influenced our country's history. We learn about the impact of the California Gold Rush and the Civil War on the banking and securities markets and how and why the ruthless dealings by the robber barons of the late 19th century and the stock market crash of 1929 unleashed a flurry of government regulations. The notes to the 11 chapters and the bibliography include a wealth of additional information and will be a useful starting point for further reading. Recommended for academic and public libraries.?Charles A. Skewis, Georgia Southern Univ., Statesboro
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Charles R. Geisst has written eighteen books on finance and economics, which have been translated into eight languages. His books have been on the Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek, and New York Times best-seller lists. Geisst is a frequent guest on radio and television talk shows, where he is valued for his opinions on finance and business. He holds the Ambassador Charles A. Gargano Chair in Global Economics at Manhattan College.

Customer Reviews

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Go to check it out, buddies!
Jiyang Wang
I read John Steele Gordon religiously in American Heritage, and enjoy his style better (I can't wait for his new book!)
Gordon Clark
As such, it is a good book, and puts an interesting perspective on US history.
Glenn McDorman

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Gordon Clark on October 12, 1999
Format: Paperback
I LOVED this book from about the 1860s on. Geisst's history of the period before the revolution and into the mid 1800s was a little dry for my liking. I read John Steele Gordon religiously in American Heritage, and enjoy his style better (I can't wait for his new book!) I was fascinated in particular by the lack of a Central Bank, and the rise of the so-called Robber Barons. The increasing role of government is well documented, objectively I think. The book really picked up for me after the Great Depression, and I learned much about Glass-Steagall(sp?) and the separation of commercial and investment banks. I'd recommend the book for anyone who wants to know why Wall Street works the way it does, and to put the present in perspective (as any good history book does).
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 22, 2001
Format: Paperback
I have been reading books by Geisst since I was an undergraduate at Syracuse. Unlike many other authors writing about the topic, he is the only one I know who knows finance inside out. Many writers on American history know little about the market & Wall Street. I read other books and find no mention of primary markets, only the stock exchanges.In this book, he tracks both and correctly so. That alone shows the comprehensiveness of his approach. This is a great history of Wall Street by a finance person. In the early 1980's I used a book of his as an undergradutae text. Now I find a history book. Not many other authors can claim that breath. This is a must.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By unraveler on July 27, 2001
Format: Paperback
The book is dense, but well-written and very educational. Dr. Geisst wrote a wonderful history of Wall Street from its early days of the late 18th century until the mid 1990s. Most of the colorful movers and shaker that Wall Street has seen throughout history are here and their exploits are lucidly, if not grippingly, described. From Geisst's accurate historical narrative it becomes clear just how speculative and wild Wall Street had been, until the Depression era regulations. This book is valuable for anyone interested in U.S. history, financial history, and world economic history. Pick it up today.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Craig Wood on October 24, 2004
Format: Paperback
Charles Geisst's "Wall Street: A History" provides a chronological overview of the American financial system. This ambitious book purports to be the first such work to cover this topic. The story begins in the late 18th century, with subsequent chapters carving up the next 200 years into logical periods. Although the book omits several important events (e.g., Wall Street's role in the post-war development of Japan, anti-trust litigation against IBM, etc.), few will fault Geisst for being incomplete in his work. Significant firms and personalities receive due attention, and readers who were following the scandals of the 1980s and 1990s (Boesky, Milken, S&L's) will appreciate the latter-day perspective. My only quibbles are that the prose is a little dry, and the amount of facts crammed into 367 pages makes it tough not to feel a little overwhelmed. "Wall Street" ends with Greenspan's prescient comment about "irrational exuberance" in the US equity markets in 1996. The years that followed are presumably covered in Geisst's 2004 update of the original.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Leo Kee Chye on March 23, 2003
Format: Paperback
Charles Geisst tells a gripping history of Wall Street, from a tiny congregation of traders along the sidecurb to the most influential financial market in the world. Over a span of 200 years, Geisst examines the factors contributing to the rise of Wall Street and the Street's role in helping America become the most powerful economy. On the light side, he narrates the colourful lives and exploits of the Robber Barons who have come to symbolise Wall Street's predatory and free-wheeling past. This is definitely an engaging book but without being pedantic for history freaks.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By "repeatonceagain" on August 14, 2002
Format: Paperback
Traders met under a tree in the beginning to trade securities, that's about it. Later, the securities were being traded on the "curb", then indoors, and eventually it became the global market that we know today. You will learn about the progress of the market, the booms, the busts, the market "breaks" and the recessions and depressions that followed.
This book is a complete history of investing in the US: Interested in the history of trading? Interested in the history of corporate debt (short-term securities, bonds, etc.)? Interested in how the US was funded to become the World power it is today? Interested in issues like program trading and market volatility? This book discusses all of these and many more, including the people, thinking, and developments that have made the market what it is today.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By "ck444" on November 18, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I really enjoyed this book. It did what I wanted it to do, and that was to teach me more about financial history. Not only did I find it educational, but the characters & dramas describe whithin, made it read like a novel in parts.
Very rewarding.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It is an amazing history that parallels American history. This book demonstrates how the market continues to be gained and maintained by a few that got rich off others. This book explains how hedge funds worked then and now. The investors fought the legislation that was to protect the common man and create sanity in our monetary system as is still the same. It takes calamities to regulate the market; but greed to tear it down. History repeats itself over and over again. Perhaps the beginning premise of the market was faulty to begin with, that is why the market continually crashes while a select few get rich during those tough times. Great read and explanation about our market.
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