Thursday, October 23, 2008

Panic on Wall Street by Robert Sobel

Panic on Wall Street by Robert Sobel is an extensive history of crashes on American stock exchanges. There is material on 12 separate economic panics from the start of the Republic through 1987. Let's face it the sort of book is rather topical these days. Most of the coverage is on the 1873 crash and 1929 Great Depression. I was actually most interested in various incidents I hadn't heard of for instance closing down trading on the outbreak of the first world war. Many of the more colorful characters both captains of industry and charlatans are discussed in loving detail.

Sobel does occasionally use jargon without explaining it. There isn't a glossary of terms I had to search to get definitions. Considering this book is aimed at a general audience this seems to be an oversight. For the most part an excellent book on an intriguing subject. Contains notes and bibliography.

Highly recommended!

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