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The Dark Genius of Wall Street: the Misunderstood Life of Jay Gould, King of the Robber Barons
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The Dark Genius of Wall Street: the Misunderstood Life of Jay Gould, King of the Robber Barons

An intriguing analysis of the most successful of Wall Street speculators. Though the favorite whipping-boy of Progressives and a prominent symbol of the wastefulness and harm caused by the unregulated stock-market speculation of the post-Civil War era, Renehan paints a more sympathetic and human picture. Far from the immigrant Jewish banker alien to honest red-blooded American labor so often portrayed by contemporary newspapers, which image few have cared to correct, the diminutive Gould was a home-grown New York Protestant, a loyal and loving family man, and one of the most generous philanthropists of his time, though always anonymously out of concern that his fearsome reputation for business acumen might suffer should these facts become widely known.

Renehan researched his subject with exhaustive detail and carefully traces Gould’s rise from almost nothing to become one of the half-dozen richest men in the U.S. through ownership of a series of businesses, his habit of buying out partners, cultivation of influential friends even unto the household of President Grant, and his leap into the raw stock-market manipulation associated with the booming railroad industry. Devoid of reconstructed dialogue and highly readable, this book contains a wealth of information on how to make a million—if you lived in the 1870s. Though there have always been those whose frame of mind is obsessively focused on making money, virtually none of Gould’s manipulations, or those of his rivals, remain legal today. —SiriusReviews.com.

Sirius Reviews

The Dark Genius of Wall Street: the Misunderstood Life of Jay Gould, King of the Robber Barons, 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 rating
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