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This work has been selected by scholars as being culturally important, and is part of the knowledge base of civilization as we know it. This work was reproduced from the original artifact, and remains as true to the original work as possible. Therefore, you will see the original copyright references, library stamps (as most of these works have been housed in our most impor This work has been selected by scholars as being culturally important, and is part of the knowledge base of civilization as we know it. This work was reproduced from the original artifact, and remains as true to the original work as possible. Therefore, you will see the original copyright references, library stamps (as most of these works have been housed in our most important libraries around the world), and other notations in the work. This work is in the public domain in the United States of America, and possibly other nations. Within the United States, you may freely copy and distribute this work, as no entity (individual or corporate) has a copyright on the body of the work.As a reproduction of a historical artifact, this work may contain missing or blurred pages, poor pictures, errant marks, etc. Scholars believe, and we concur, that this work is important enough to be preserved, reproduced, and made generally available to the public. We appreciate your support of the preservation process, and thank you for being an important part of keeping this knowledge alive and relevant.


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This work has been selected by scholars as being culturally important, and is part of the knowledge base of civilization as we know it. This work was reproduced from the original artifact, and remains as true to the original work as possible. Therefore, you will see the original copyright references, library stamps (as most of these works have been housed in our most impor This work has been selected by scholars as being culturally important, and is part of the knowledge base of civilization as we know it. This work was reproduced from the original artifact, and remains as true to the original work as possible. Therefore, you will see the original copyright references, library stamps (as most of these works have been housed in our most important libraries around the world), and other notations in the work. This work is in the public domain in the United States of America, and possibly other nations. Within the United States, you may freely copy and distribute this work, as no entity (individual or corporate) has a copyright on the body of the work.As a reproduction of a historical artifact, this work may contain missing or blurred pages, poor pictures, errant marks, etc. Scholars believe, and we concur, that this work is important enough to be preserved, reproduced, and made generally available to the public. We appreciate your support of the preservation process, and thank you for being an important part of keeping this knowledge alive and relevant.

30 review for The Moneychangers

  1. 4 out of 5

    Shelley

    Now that Trump has been elected President, this book needs to be re-issued. It is amazing in the following ways: 1. it gives explicit details about the ways in which white collar crimes pay off handsomely. All the methods for corporate criminals are still relevant today. Trump is exactly like the guys in this book. Read it and weep. We have not learned any lessons at all in the approximately 100 years since the financial scams described in this book. 2. All relationships are influenced by money a Now that Trump has been elected President, this book needs to be re-issued. It is amazing in the following ways: 1. it gives explicit details about the ways in which white collar crimes pay off handsomely. All the methods for corporate criminals are still relevant today. Trump is exactly like the guys in this book. Read it and weep. We have not learned any lessons at all in the approximately 100 years since the financial scams described in this book. 2. All relationships are influenced by money and power. For example, the woman who gets involved with these creeps and falls for their lies despite being warned about them, and the hero's brother who wants the tangible benefits of being associated with that power. There are also the business people who want to speak up but are afraid to do so. All these people are going to be part of the Trump administration. 3. At the end of the book, the hero, who consistently tries to be ethical in his dealings with all these people, realizes that he will have to get involved in politics and try to make a difference... The reality is that Upton Sinclair DID run for office and was attacked by the right wing of his day, just like Hillary Clinton. We have to fight back. This book will show you that there is a long history of radical right wing abuse of power and remind you that we have to take an incremental approach, but never give up....

  2. 5 out of 5

    Patrick Sprunger

    I find it chilling that the peril of institutions that could be both too big to fail and driven to ruin by disingenuous wreckers was known exactly 100 years prior to the bubble burst of 2008. The Moneychangers is eerie in its similarity to the economic snap that began the so called Great Recession. But it is not perfectly prophetic. Sinclair's target in 1908 was the trusts. In some ways these were the same robber barons as today, but the dynamic has notable differences. Sinclair's panic has a cl I find it chilling that the peril of institutions that could be both too big to fail and driven to ruin by disingenuous wreckers was known exactly 100 years prior to the bubble burst of 2008. The Moneychangers is eerie in its similarity to the economic snap that began the so called Great Recession. But it is not perfectly prophetic. Sinclair's target in 1908 was the trusts. In some ways these were the same robber barons as today, but the dynamic has notable differences. Sinclair's panic has a classically literary onus. There are virtuous actors. But there are also real historical contrasts and comparisons for the perceptive reader to note. Presidents (Theodore) Roosevelt and (George W.) Bush would deal with reckless speculation differently. The media circus devoted to the crisis would strike stunningly similar tones. Let the following excerpt speak for itself: "It was very interesting to Montague to read these newspapers and see the picture of events which they presented to the public. They all told what they could not avoid telling - that is, the events which were public matters; but they never by any chance gave a hint of the reasons for the happenings - you would have supposed that all these upheavals in the banking world were so many thunderbolts which had fallen from the heavens above. And each day they gave more of their space to insisting that the previous day's misfortunes were the last - that by no chance could there be any more thunderbolts to fall." (293) The protagonist in The Moneychangers, Allan Montague, is a bit like a grown up Nick Carraway, somewhat streetwise but still possessing of his genuine essence and wiser than the great men who tower overhead. Like Fitzgerald's protagonist, Montague is ultimately unable to protect the woman in his charge. Bloodshed ensues. The financial crisis at the center of the melodrama is, in fact, caused by avarice and lust. Much like the Trojan war, the resources of economic empires and the blood of a nation are gambled in retaliation to a woman's rejection of unwanted advances. I am a fan of Sinclair's work, from The Jungle to the Lanny Budd saga. However, I am surprised The Moneychangers doesn't occupy a more prominent place in his catalog, or indeed the progressive political literary canon. Perhaps as our understanding of the Great Recession grows, The Moneychangers will rise to prominence. If only it had been heeded before, not after, it rang uncomfortably prophetic...

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jim

    This book, written over a hundred years ago, is as current as today's headlines. It is the tale of Allan Montague, a young New York lawyer who learns firsthand about the corruption of Wall Street. Written after the Panic of 1907, The Money Changers by Upton Sinclair is a well written study about how the purpose of big business is merely the gross accumulation of wealth and power. At the end, a mogul named Dan Waterman causes a run on the banks, which Sinclair describes:And so at last came the fa This book, written over a hundred years ago, is as current as today's headlines. It is the tale of Allan Montague, a young New York lawyer who learns firsthand about the corruption of Wall Street. Written after the Panic of 1907, The Money Changers by Upton Sinclair is a well written study about how the purpose of big business is merely the gross accumulation of wealth and power. At the end, a mogul named Dan Waterman causes a run on the banks, which Sinclair describes:And so at last came the fateful Thursday, the climax of the panic. A pall seemed to have fallen upon Wall Street. Men ran here and there, bareheaded and pale with fright. Upon the floor of the Stock Exchange men held their breath. The market was falling to pieces. All sales had stopped; one might quote any price one chose, for it was impossible to borrow a dollar. Interest rates had gone to one hundred and fifty per cent to two hundred per cent; a man might have offered a thousand per cent for a large sum and not obtained it. The brokers stood about, gazing at each other in utter despair. Such an hour had never before been known.It all starts when one of Montague's old friends, a beautiful young widow named Lucy Dupree, enlists his help to sell securities she holds for the Northern Mississippi Railroad. This small act has large consequences as the railroad rouses the attention of Waterman and several other moguls. Sinclair is probably most famous for his book The Jungle about the Chicago meat packers. Later he went into politics, founded a party named End Party in California (EPIC), and unsuccessfully ran for governor there in 1934. The only false note in the book is its last sentence, when Montague says, "I am going into politics. I am going to try to teach the people." I couldn't help a broad smirk at that point.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Kristen

    For being a book that is almost impossible to find, it's disturbingly appropriate for what is going on in the economy today. Rather than delving into the lives of immigrants and slaughtering critters - this book follows the uppercrust on Wall Street through the stockmarket crash in the early 1900's. Sinclair's characters are tragic, as always - but it is what is going on in this book that is so interesting. The motives and the greed, and the power struggle that finally leads to a stock market cra For being a book that is almost impossible to find, it's disturbingly appropriate for what is going on in the economy today. Rather than delving into the lives of immigrants and slaughtering critters - this book follows the uppercrust on Wall Street through the stockmarket crash in the early 1900's. Sinclair's characters are tragic, as always - but it is what is going on in this book that is so interesting. The motives and the greed, and the power struggle that finally leads to a stock market crash and runs on the banks. Starting out innocently enough, this tale quickly escalates into vindictive double crossing, back stabbing and finishes off with lives ruined and a country in financial disaster. I found this book to be a much easier read than "The Jungle" in that Sinclair was able to weave his beliefs more deeply into the story rather than bashing the reader over the skull with them as he did in the final chapters of that previous novel. I always find it best to read Upton Sinclair and Ayn Rand back to back to really get the emotional rollercoaster going. Though hard copies of this book are rare to come across (at least in my neck of the woods) it is readily available for free all over the internet (yeay public domain!) Read it... it's a real eye opener.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Maggie Stewart-Grant

    What a powerful book based on the Panic of 1907. It is a well written quick read, and something I would have expected from Sinclair. I'm not a banker, nor am I into high finance, but I understood the situation as it progressed through the pages. I went a time or two to research history to see if I could place real people into the characters, and I discovered soon enough that the President was, of course, Teddy Roosevelt and the major financier who "saved" the banks was J.P. Morgan. The story is What a powerful book based on the Panic of 1907. It is a well written quick read, and something I would have expected from Sinclair. I'm not a banker, nor am I into high finance, but I understood the situation as it progressed through the pages. I went a time or two to research history to see if I could place real people into the characters, and I discovered soon enough that the President was, of course, Teddy Roosevelt and the major financier who "saved" the banks was J.P. Morgan. The story is most likely as true an account as there could ever be of what really happened behind the scenes during the days of the major Trusts - copper, steel, electric, and so forth - and the banks and the U.S. Treasury. The power of the nation was held in the hands of a very few, and not a single one of them was Teddy Roosevelt. Sometimes reality is a hard pill to swallow, and I have often wondered if today, still, this continues. I would hazard a guess that it does.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Dr.J.G.

    The Moneychangers was published in 1908, and the author must have done his research. Wonder how much of it went into the subsequent World's End series, with its all encompassing panoramic scope that includes finance and business. The book begins guilelessly as usual with the author, this time with a pair of friends discussing a young woman newly arrived in NYC whom one of them knew from home, being brought up on the plantation next to hers until she ran off to New Orleans to marry an older man. B The Moneychangers was published in 1908, and the author must have done his research. Wonder how much of it went into the subsequent World's End series, with its all encompassing panoramic scope that includes finance and business. The book begins guilelessly as usual with the author, this time with a pair of friends discussing a young woman newly arrived in NYC whom one of them knew from home, being brought up on the plantation next to hers until she ran off to New Orleans to marry an older man. But it changes from there rapidly enough, via social parties, wolves after young women, and friends whom the said women trust with protection of their social and financial security, to the real subject of the work. "“They are lively chaps, the Steel crowd,” said the Major, chuckling. “You will have to keep your eyes open when you do business with them.”" The pace is faster here than in World's End series, while seeming relaxed like the Southerner protagonist, which is completely opposite to that of World's End series where it seemed like a whirl all the time, but things happened at their own pace anyway. .............. The end shocks one with not just ruin of a wealthy man by another, more powerful one, for sake of revenge about a woman who had a preference for reasons other than the said power or even wealth, but the quiet sacrifice of the young Lucy Dupree, in complete anonymity so no one who cared for her ever knew what happened to her. It shocks because it's representative of reality, one suspects, and the author wanted to expose the stark, grim, cruel nature thereof, of Wall Street and its men at the top. He's exposed a series of pyramids that various industries and their owners form, interconnected randomly via the said men of power who might be involved in more than one, or finance via banks they control, it all ultimately being topped by Wall Street. Lucy Dupree symbolises not just youth and beauty but innocence and naivete, loving heart and a lack of selfishness that is preyed on by the said men of power who are bestial in their vicious pursuit of acquisitions of not just wealth and objects but of women, of young and innocent women whom they'd bend to their will and destroy if the said woman is an unwilling unattainable person rather than an object. Lucy Dupree symbolises all this and more - she's the innocence and naivete not only of youth or of women, but in general of humanity, exploited by the hounds and hyenas and other beasts symbolised in men of power, here mostly those of Wall Street. .............. Montague is being tutored by the friend he went to for help, having discovered that someone he went to see has sent a detective after him. “I can introduce you to a man who’s in this room now, who was fighting the Ship-building swindle, and he got hold of a lot of important papers, and he took them to his office, and sat by while his clerks made thirty-two copies of them. And he put the originals and thirty-one of the copies in thirty-two different safe-deposit vaults in the city, and took the other copy to his home in a valise. And that night burglars broke in, and the valise was missing. The next day he wrote to the people he was fighting, ‘I was going to send you a copy of the papers which have come into my possession, but as you already have a copy, I will simply proceed to outline my proposition.’ And that was all. They settled for a million or two.”" .............. Montague sees Lucy who's accepted Ryder's invitation. "“Well,” said she, dubiously, “it’s nice to be noticed.” "“It is for those who like it,” said he; “and if a woman chooses to set out on a publicity campaign, and run a press bureau, and make herself a public character, why, that’s her privilege. But for heaven’s sake let her drop the sickly pretence that she is only driving beautiful horses, or listening to music, or entertaining her friends. I suppose a Society woman has as much right to advertise her personality as a politician or a manufacturer of pills; all I object to is the sham of it, the everlasting twaddle about her love of privacy. Take Mrs. Winnie Duval, for instance. You would think to hear her that her one ideal in life was to be a simple shepherdess and to raise flowers; but, as a matter of fact, she keeps a scrap-album, and if a week passes that the newspapers do not have some paragraphs about her doings, she begins to get restless.”" Wonder when Upton Sinclair reconciled himself to the fashionable society women, for they're quite the centre as Lanny's home in first few volumes of the World's End series." Soon Lucy experienced something she wasn't expecting, in her naivety. "“He is a monster!” cried Lucy. “I ought to have him put in jail.” "Montague shook his head. “You couldn’t do that,” he said. “I couldn’t!” exclaimed the other. "“Why not?” "“You couldn’t prove it,” said Montague. "“It would be your word against his, and they would take his every time. You can’t go and have Dan Waterman arrested as you could any ordinary man. And think of the notoriety it would mean!” "“I would like to expose him,” protested Lucy. “It would serve him right!” "“It would not do him the least harm in the world,” said Montague. “I can speak quite positively there, for I have seen it tried. You couldn’t get a newspaper in New York to publish that story. All that you could do would be to have yourself blazoned as an adventuress.” "Lucy was staring, with clenched hands. “Why, I might as well be living in Turkey,” she cried. "“Very nearly,” said he. “There’s an old man in this town who has spent his lifetime lending money and hoarding it; he has something like eighty or a hundred millions now, I believe, and once every six months or so you will read in the newspapers that some woman has made an attempt to blackmail him. That is because he does to every pretty girl who comes into his office just exactly what old Waterman did to you; and those who are arrested for blackmail are simply the ones who are so unwise as to make a disturbance.” "“You see, Lucy,” continued Montague, after a pause, “you must realise the situation. This man is a god in New York. He controls all the avenues of wealth; he can make or break any person he chooses. It is really the truth—I believe he could ruin any man in the city whom he chose to set out after. He can have anything that he wants done, so far as the police are concerned. It is simply a matter of paying them. And he is accustomed to rule in everything; his lightest whim is law. If he wants a thing, he buys it, and that is his attitude toward women. He is used to being treated as a master; women seek him, and vie for his favour. If you had been able to hold it, you might have had a million-dollar palace on Riverside Drive, or a cottage with a million-dollar pier at Newport. You might have had carte blanche at all the shops, and all the yachting trips and private trains that you wanted. That is all that other women want, and he could not understand what more you could want.” "“But, Allan!” protested Lucy. “I can’t help thinking what would have happened to me if you had not come on board! I can’t help thinking about other women who must have been caught in such a trap. Why, Allan, I would have been equally helpless—no matter what he had done!” "“I am afraid so,” said he, gravely. “Many a woman has discovered it, I imagine. I understand how you feel, but what can you do about it? You can’t punish men like Waterman. You can’t punish them for anything they do, whether it is monopolising a necessity of life and starving thousands of people to death, or whether it is an attack upon a defenceless woman. There are rich men in this city who make it their diversion to answer advertisements and decoy young girls. A stenographer in my office told me that she had had over twenty positions in one year, and that she had left every one because some man in the office had approached her.” "He paused for a moment. “You see,” he added, “I have been finding out these things. You thought I was unreasonable, but I know what your dangers are. You are a stranger here; you have no friends and no influence, and so you will always be the one to suffer. I don’t mean merely in a case like this, where it comes to the police and the newspapers; I mean in social matters—where it is a question of your reputation, of the interpretation which people will place upon your actions. They have their wealth and their prestige and their privileges, and they stand at bay. They are perfectly willing to give a stranger a good time, if the stranger has a pretty face and a lively wit to entertain them; but when you come to trespass, or to threaten their power, then you find out how they can hate you, and how mercilessly they will slander and ruin you!”" .............. Montague takes Lucy to visit General Prentice. "“It seems to be such a widespread movement,” said Montague. "“It seems incredible that any one man could cause such an upset.” "“It is not one man,” said the General, “it is a group of men. I don’t say that it’s true, mind you. I wouldn’t be at liberty to say it even if I knew it; but there are certain things that I have seen, and I have my suspicions of others. And you must realise that a half-dozen men now control about ninety per cent of the banks of this city.” "“Things will get worse before they get any better, I believe,” said Curtiss, after a pause. "“The banking situation in this country at the present moment is simply unendurable; the legitimate banker is practically driven from the field by the speculator. A man finds himself in the position where he has either to submit to the dictation of such men, or else permit himself to be supplanted. It is a new element that has forced itself in. Apparently all a man needs in order to start a bank is credit enough to put up a building with marble columns and bronze gates. I could name you a man who at this moment owns eight banks, and when he started in, three years ago, I don’t believe he owned a million dollars.” "“You buy a piece of land, with as big a mortgage as you can get, and you put up a million-dollar building and mortgage that. You start a trust company, and you get out imposing advertisements, and promise high rates of interest, and the public comes in. Then you hypothecate your stock in company number one, and you have your dummy directors lend you more money, and you buy another trust company. They call that pyramiding—you have heard the term, no doubt, with regard to stocks; it is a fascinating game to play with banks, because the more of them you get, the more prominent you become in the newspapers, and the more the public trusts you.” "There was Stewart, the young Lochinvar out of the West. He had tried to buy the Trust Company of the Republic long ago, and so the General knew him and his methods. He had fought the Copper Trust to a standstill in Montana; the Trust had bought up the Legislature and both political machines, but Cummings had appealed to the public in a series of sensational campaigns, and had got his judges into office, and in the end the Trust had been forced to buy him out. And now he had come to New York to play this new game of bank-gambling, which paid even quicker profits than buying courts.—And then there was Holt, a sporting character, a vulgar man-about-town, who was identified with everything that was low and vile in the city; he, too, had turned his millions into banks.—And there was Cummings, the Ice King, who for years had financed the political machine in the city, and, by securing a monopoly of the docking-privileges, had forced all his rivals to the wall. He had set out to monopolise the coastwise steamship trade of the country, and had bought line after line of vessels by this same device of “pyramiding”; and now, finding that he needed still more money to buy out his rivals, he had purchased or started a dozen or so of trust companies and banks." .............. Mrs Billy Alden talking to Montague. "“I judge you have not many enemies,” added Mrs. Billy, after a pause. "“No especial ones,” said he. "“Well,” said she, “you should cultivate some. Enemies are the spice of life. I mean it, really,” she declared, as she saw him smile. "“I had never thought of it,” said he. “Have you never known what it is to get into a really good fight? You see, you are conventional, and you don’t like to acknowledge it. But what is there that wakes one up more than a good, vigorous hatred? Some day you will realise it—the chief zest in life is to go after somebody who hates you, and to get him down and see him squirm.” "“But suppose he gets you down?” interposed Montague. "“Ah!” said she, “you mustn’t let him! That is what you go into the fight for. Get after him, and do him first.” "“It sounds rather barbarous,” said he. "“On the contrary,” was the answer, “it’s the highest reach of civilisation. That is what Society is for—the cultivation of the art of hatred. It is the survival of the fittest in a new realm. You study your victim, you find out his weaknesses and his foibles, and you know just where to plant your sting. You learn what he wants, and you take it away from him. You choose your allies carefully, and you surround him and overwhelm him; then when you get through with him, you go after another.”" .............. "The steel situation is a peculiar one. Prices are kept at an altogether artificial level, and there is room for large profits to competitors of the Trust. But those who go into the business commonly find themselves unexpectedly handicapped. They cannot get the credit they want; orders overwhelm them in floods, but Wall Street will not put up money to help them. They find all kinds of powerful interests arrayed against them; there are raids upon their securities in the market, and mysterious rumours begin to circulate. They find suits brought against them which tend to injure their credit. And sometimes they will find important papers missing, important witnesses sailing for Europe, and so on. Then their most efficient employees will be bought up; their very bookkeepers and office-boys will be bribed, and all the secrets of their business passed on to their enemies. They will find that the railroads do not treat them squarely; cars will be slow in coming, and all kinds of petty annoyances will be practised. You know what the rebate is, and you can imagine the part which that plays. In these and a hundred other ways, the path of the independent steel manufacturer is made difficult. And now, Mr. Montague, this is a project to extend a railroad which will be of vast service to the chief competitor of the Steel Trust." ............... "I think I told you once how Davy paid forty thousand dollars for the nomination, and went to Congress. It was the year of a Democratic landslide, and they could have elected Reggie Mann if they had felt like it. I went to Washington to live the next winter, and Price was there....

  7. 4 out of 5

    Dr.J.G.

    The Moneychangers was published in 1908, and the author must have done his research. Wonder how much of it went into the subsequent World's End series, with its all encompassing panoramic scope that includes finance and business. The book begins guilelessly as usual with the author, this time with a pair of friends discussing a young woman newly arrived in NYC whom one of them knew from home, being brought up on the plantation next to hers until she ran off to New Orleans to marry an older man. B The Moneychangers was published in 1908, and the author must have done his research. Wonder how much of it went into the subsequent World's End series, with its all encompassing panoramic scope that includes finance and business. The book begins guilelessly as usual with the author, this time with a pair of friends discussing a young woman newly arrived in NYC whom one of them knew from home, being brought up on the plantation next to hers until she ran off to New Orleans to marry an older man. But it changes from there rapidly enough, via social parties, wolves after young women, and friends whom the said women trust with protection of their social and financial security, to the real subject of the work. "“They are lively chaps, the Steel crowd,” said the Major, chuckling. “You will have to keep your eyes open when you do business with them.”" The pace is faster here than in World's End series, while seeming relaxed like the Southerner protagonist, which is completely opposite to that of World's End series where it seemed like a whirl all the time, but things happened at their own pace anyway. .............. The end shocks one with not just ruin of a wealthy man by another, more powerful one, for sake of revenge about a woman who had a preference for reasons other than the said power or even wealth, but the quiet sacrifice of the young Lucy Dupree, in complete anonymity so no one who cared for her ever knew what happened to her. It shocks because it's representative of reality, one suspects, and the author wanted to expose the stark, grim, cruel nature thereof, of Wall Street and its men at the top. He's exposed a series of pyramids that various industries and their owners form, interconnected randomly via the said men of power who might be involved in more than one, or finance via banks they control, it all ultimately being topped by Wall Street. Lucy Dupree symbolises not just youth and beauty but innocence and naivete, loving heart and a lack of selfishness that is preyed on by the said men of power who are bestial in their vicious pursuit of acquisitions of not just wealth and objects but of women, of young and innocent women whom they'd bend to their will and destroy if the said woman is an unwilling unattainable person rather than an object. Lucy Dupree symbolises all this and more - she's the innocence and naivete not only of youth or of women, but in general of humanity, exploited by the hounds and hyenas and other beasts symbolised in men of power, here mostly those of Wall Street. .............. Montague is being tutored by the friend he went to for help, having discovered that someone he went to see has sent a detective after him. “I can introduce you to a man who’s in this room now, who was fighting the Ship-building swindle, and he got hold of a lot of important papers, and he took them to his office, and sat by while his clerks made thirty-two copies of them. And he put the originals and thirty-one of the copies in thirty-two different safe-deposit vaults in the city, and took the other copy to his home in a valise. And that night burglars broke in, and the valise was missing. The next day he wrote to the people he was fighting, ‘I was going to send you a copy of the papers which have come into my possession, but as you already have a copy, I will simply proceed to outline my proposition.’ And that was all. They settled for a million or two.”" .............. Montague sees Lucy who's accepted Ryder's invitation. "“Well,” said she, dubiously, “it’s nice to be noticed.” "“It is for those who like it,” said he; “and if a woman chooses to set out on a publicity campaign, and run a press bureau, and make herself a public character, why, that’s her privilege. But for heaven’s sake let her drop the sickly pretence that she is only driving beautiful horses, or listening to music, or entertaining her friends. I suppose a Society woman has as much right to advertise her personality as a politician or a manufacturer of pills; all I object to is the sham of it, the everlasting twaddle about her love of privacy. Take Mrs. Winnie Duval, for instance. You would think to hear her that her one ideal in life was to be a simple shepherdess and to raise flowers; but, as a matter of fact, she keeps a scrap-album, and if a week passes that the newspapers do not have some paragraphs about her doings, she begins to get restless.”" Wonder when Upton Sinclair reconciled himself to the fashionable society women, for they're quite the centre as Lanny's home in first few volumes of the World's End series." Soon Lucy experienced something she wasn't expecting, in her naivety. "“He is a monster!” cried Lucy. “I ought to have him put in jail.” "Montague shook his head. “You couldn’t do that,” he said. “I couldn’t!” exclaimed the other. "“Why not?” "“You couldn’t prove it,” said Montague. "“It would be your word against his, and they would take his every time. You can’t go and have Dan Waterman arrested as you could any ordinary man. And think of the notoriety it would mean!” "“I would like to expose him,” protested Lucy. “It would serve him right!” "“It would not do him the least harm in the world,” said Montague. “I can speak quite positively there, for I have seen it tried. You couldn’t get a newspaper in New York to publish that story. All that you could do would be to have yourself blazoned as an adventuress.” "Lucy was staring, with clenched hands. “Why, I might as well be living in Turkey,” she cried. "“Very nearly,” said he. “There’s an old man in this town who has spent his lifetime lending money and hoarding it; he has something like eighty or a hundred millions now, I believe, and once every six months or so you will read in the newspapers that some woman has made an attempt to blackmail him. That is because he does to every pretty girl who comes into his office just exactly what old Waterman did to you; and those who are arrested for blackmail are simply the ones who are so unwise as to make a disturbance.” "“You see, Lucy,” continued Montague, after a pause, “you must realise the situation. This man is a god in New York. He controls all the avenues of wealth; he can make or break any person he chooses. It is really the truth—I believe he could ruin any man in the city whom he chose to set out after. He can have anything that he wants done, so far as the police are concerned. It is simply a matter of paying them. And he is accustomed to rule in everything; his lightest whim is law. If he wants a thing, he buys it, and that is his attitude toward women. He is used to being treated as a master; women seek him, and vie for his favour. If you had been able to hold it, you might have had a million-dollar palace on Riverside Drive, or a cottage with a million-dollar pier at Newport. You might have had carte blanche at all the shops, and all the yachting trips and private trains that you wanted. That is all that other women want, and he could not understand what more you could want.” "“But, Allan!” protested Lucy. “I can’t help thinking what would have happened to me if you had not come on board! I can’t help thinking about other women who must have been caught in such a trap. Why, Allan, I would have been equally helpless—no matter what he had done!” "“I am afraid so,” said he, gravely. “Many a woman has discovered it, I imagine. I understand how you feel, but what can you do about it? You can’t punish men like Waterman. You can’t punish them for anything they do, whether it is monopolising a necessity of life and starving thousands of people to death, or whether it is an attack upon a defenceless woman. There are rich men in this city who make it their diversion to answer advertisements and decoy young girls. A stenographer in my office told me that she had had over twenty positions in one year, and that she had left every one because some man in the office had approached her.” "He paused for a moment. “You see,” he added, “I have been finding out these things. You thought I was unreasonable, but I know what your dangers are. You are a stranger here; you have no friends and no influence, and so you will always be the one to suffer. I don’t mean merely in a case like this, where it comes to the police and the newspapers; I mean in social matters—where it is a question of your reputation, of the interpretation which people will place upon your actions. They have their wealth and their prestige and their privileges, and they stand at bay. They are perfectly willing to give a stranger a good time, if the stranger has a pretty face and a lively wit to entertain them; but when you come to trespass, or to threaten their power, then you find out how they can hate you, and how mercilessly they will slander and ruin you!”" .............. Montague takes Lucy to visit General Prentice. "“It seems to be such a widespread movement,” said Montague. "“It seems incredible that any one man could cause such an upset.” "“It is not one man,” said the General, “it is a group of men. I don’t say that it’s true, mind you. I wouldn’t be at liberty to say it even if I knew it; but there are certain things that I have seen, and I have my suspicions of others. And you must realise that a half-dozen men now control about ninety per cent of the banks of this city.” "“Things will get worse before they get any better, I believe,” said Curtiss, after a pause. "“The banking situation in this country at the present moment is simply unendurable; the legitimate banker is practically driven from the field by the speculator. A man finds himself in the position where he has either to submit to the dictation of such men, or else permit himself to be supplanted. It is a new element that has forced itself in. Apparently all a man needs in order to start a bank is credit enough to put up a building with marble columns and bronze gates. I could name you a man who at this moment owns eight banks, and when he started in, three years ago, I don’t believe he owned a million dollars.” "“You buy a piece of land, with as big a mortgage as you can get, and you put up a million-dollar building and mortgage that. You start a trust company, and you get out imposing advertisements, and promise high rates of interest, and the public comes in. Then you hypothecate your stock in company number one, and you have your dummy directors lend you more money, and you buy another trust company. They call that pyramiding—you have heard the term, no doubt, with regard to stocks; it is a fascinating game to play with banks, because the more of them you get, the more prominent you become in the newspapers, and the more the public trusts you.” "There was Stewart, the young Lochinvar out of the West. He had tried to buy the Trust Company of the Republic long ago, and so the General knew him and his methods. He had fought the Copper Trust to a standstill in Montana; the Trust had bought up the Legislature and both political machines, but Cummings had appealed to the public in a series of sensational campaigns, and had got his judges into office, and in the end the Trust had been forced to buy him out. And now he had come to New York to play this new game of bank-gambling, which paid even quicker profits than buying courts.—And then there was Holt, a sporting character, a vulgar man-about-town, who was identified with everything that was low and vile in the city; he, too, had turned his millions into banks.—And there was Cummings, the Ice King, who for years had financed the political machine in the city, and, by securing a monopoly of the docking-privileges, had forced all his rivals to the wall. He had set out to monopolise the coastwise steamship trade of the country, and had bought line after line of vessels by this same device of “pyramiding”; and now, finding that he needed still more money to buy out his rivals, he had purchased or started a dozen or so of trust companies and banks." .............. Mrs Billy Alden talking to Montague. "“I judge you have not many enemies,” added Mrs. Billy, after a pause. "“No especial ones,” said he. "“Well,” said she, “you should cultivate some. Enemies are the spice of life. I mean it, really,” she declared, as she saw him smile. "“I had never thought of it,” said he. “Have you never known what it is to get into a really good fight? You see, you are conventional, and you don’t like to acknowledge it. But what is there that wakes one up more than a good, vigorous hatred? Some day you will realise it—the chief zest in life is to go after somebody who hates you, and to get him down and see him squirm.” "“But suppose he gets you down?” interposed Montague. "“Ah!” said she, “you mustn’t let him! That is what you go into the fight for. Get after him, and do him first.” "“It sounds rather barbarous,” said he. "“On the contrary,” was the answer, “it’s the highest reach of civilisation. That is what Society is for—the cultivation of the art of hatred. It is the survival of the fittest in a new realm. You study your victim, you find out his weaknesses and his foibles, and you know just where to plant your sting. You learn what he wants, and you take it away from him. You choose your allies carefully, and you surround him and overwhelm him; then when you get through with him, you go after another.”" .............. "The steel situation is a peculiar one. Prices are kept at an altogether artificial level, and there is room for large profits to competitors of the Trust. But those who go into the business commonly find themselves unexpectedly handicapped. They cannot get the credit they want; orders overwhelm them in floods, but Wall Street will not put up money to help them. They find all kinds of powerful interests arrayed against them; there are raids upon their securities in the market, and mysterious rumours begin to circulate. They find suits brought against them which tend to injure their credit. And sometimes they will find important papers missing, important witnesses sailing for Europe, and so on. Then their most efficient employees will be bought up; their very bookkeepers and office-boys will be bribed, and all the secrets of their business passed on to their enemies. They will find that the railroads do not treat them squarely; cars will be slow in coming, and all kinds of petty annoyances will be practised. You know what the rebate is, and you can imagine the part which that plays. In these and a hundred other ways, the path of the independent steel manufacturer is made difficult. And now, Mr. Montague, this is a project to extend a railroad which will be of vast service to the chief competitor of the Steel Trust." ............... "I think I told you once how Davy paid forty thousand dollars for the nomination, and went to Congress. It was the year of a Democratic landslide, and they could have elected Reggie Mann if they had felt like it. I went to Washington to live the next winter, and Price was there ....

  8. 4 out of 5

    McNatty

    An absorbing tale of the 29 wall street crash. A quite dramatic engaging story of how bankers got together and crashed the market to buy everything back up cheaply. Those at the sharp end were then helpless and left destitute. However what Sinclair poignantly explains is that many corrupt wall street men were actually crushed as well, many with questionable morality who helped build empires were simply stepped on. It was the thirst to monopolize industries, to remove the competition and to gain An absorbing tale of the 29 wall street crash. A quite dramatic engaging story of how bankers got together and crashed the market to buy everything back up cheaply. Those at the sharp end were then helpless and left destitute. However what Sinclair poignantly explains is that many corrupt wall street men were actually crushed as well, many with questionable morality who helped build empires were simply stepped on. It was the thirst to monopolize industries, to remove the competition and to gain ultimate power which triggered these selfish greedy bankers to turn off the taps of credit and let everyone flounder. The banks had never been so powerful after the crash and even paid for the recovery, by turning the money taps back on with thanks from the unwitting public and grateful government. A great little book to get the blood boiling after 2008..so many similarities. And what do you know - the current treasury secretary is an ex-Goldmans man, and don't forget about the ex-exon man. Upton Sinclair and Bernie Sanders would have a lot to talk about.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Ted

    Unless you're a business major, don't waste your time reading this. Too much detail about how the stock market and banks were controlled by just a few men. It does show how the wealthy live, but that will only upset you to see the waste of money and the extravagant lifestyles they live. After reading The book woman of Troublesome creek, it was quite a comparison of the different economic lifestyles. Maybe less is better.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Dr.J.G.

    The Moneychangers was published in 1908, and the author must have done his research. Wonder how much of it went into the subsequent World's End series, with its all encompassing panoramic scope that includes finance and business. The book begins guilelessly as usual with the author, this time with a pair of friends discussing a young woman newly arrived in NYC whom one of them knew from home, being brought up on the plantation next to hers until she ran off to New Orleans to marry an older man. B The Moneychangers was published in 1908, and the author must have done his research. Wonder how much of it went into the subsequent World's End series, with its all encompassing panoramic scope that includes finance and business. The book begins guilelessly as usual with the author, this time with a pair of friends discussing a young woman newly arrived in NYC whom one of them knew from home, being brought up on the plantation next to hers until she ran off to New Orleans to marry an older man. But it changes from there rapidly enough, via social parties, wolves after young women, and friends whom the said women trust with protection of their social and financial security, to the real subject of the work. "“They are lively chaps, the Steel crowd,” said the Major, chuckling. “You will have to keep your eyes open when you do business with them.”" The pace is faster here than in World's End series, while seeming relaxed like the Southerner protagonist, which is completely opposite to that of World's End series where it seemed like a whirl all the time, but things happened at their own pace anyway. .............. The end shocks one with not just ruin of a wealthy man by another, more powerful one, for sake of revenge about a woman who had a preference for reasons other than the said power or even wealth, but the quiet sacrifice of the young Lucy Dupree, in complete anonymity so no one who cared for her ever knew what happened to her. It shocks because it's representative of reality, one suspects, and the author wanted to expose the stark, grim, cruel nature thereof, of Wall Street and its men at the top. He's exposed a series of pyramids that various industries and their owners form, interconnected randomly via the said men of power who might be involved in more than one, or finance via banks they control, it all ultimately being topped by Wall Street. Lucy Dupree symbolises not just youth and beauty but innocence and naivete, loving heart and a lack of selfishness that is preyed on by the said men of power who are bestial in their vicious pursuit of acquisitions of not just wealth and objects but of women, of young and innocent women whom they'd bend to their will and destroy if the said woman is an unwilling unattainable person rather than an object. Lucy Dupree symbolises all this and more - she's the innocence and naivete not only of youth or of women, but in general of humanity, exploited by the hounds and hyenas and other beasts symbolised in men of power, here mostly those of Wall Street. .............. Montague is being tutored by the friend he went to for help, having discovered that someone he went to see has sent a detective after him. “I can introduce you to a man who’s in this room now, who was fighting the Ship-building swindle, and he got hold of a lot of important papers, and he took them to his office, and sat by while his clerks made thirty-two copies of them. And he put the originals and thirty-one of the copies in thirty-two different safe-deposit vaults in the city, and took the other copy to his home in a valise. And that night burglars broke in, and the valise was missing. The next day he wrote to the people he was fighting, ‘I was going to send you a copy of the papers which have come into my possession, but as you already have a copy, I will simply proceed to outline my proposition.’ And that was all. They settled for a million or two.”" .............. Montague sees Lucy who's accepted Ryder's invitation. "“Well,” said she, dubiously, “it’s nice to be noticed.” "“It is for those who like it,” said he; “and if a woman chooses to set out on a publicity campaign, and run a press bureau, and make herself a public character, why, that’s her privilege. But for heaven’s sake let her drop the sickly pretence that she is only driving beautiful horses, or listening to music, or entertaining her friends. I suppose a Society woman has as much right to advertise her personality as a politician or a manufacturer of pills; all I object to is the sham of it, the everlasting twaddle about her love of privacy. Take Mrs. Winnie Duval, for instance. You would think to hear her that her one ideal in life was to be a simple shepherdess and to raise flowers; but, as a matter of fact, she keeps a scrap-album, and if a week passes that the newspapers do not have some paragraphs about her doings, she begins to get restless.”" Wonder when Upton Sinclair reconciled himself to the fashionable society women, for they're quite the centre as Lanny's home in first few volumes of the World's End series." Soon Lucy experienced something she wasn't expecting, in her naivety. "“He is a monster!” cried Lucy. “I ought to have him put in jail.” "Montague shook his head. “You couldn’t do that,” he said. “I couldn’t!” exclaimed the other. "“Why not?” "“You couldn’t prove it,” said Montague. "“It would be your word against his, and they would take his every time. You can’t go and have Dan Waterman arrested as you could any ordinary man. And think of the notoriety it would mean!” "“I would like to expose him,” protested Lucy. “It would serve him right!” "“It would not do him the least harm in the world,” said Montague. “I can speak quite positively there, for I have seen it tried. You couldn’t get a newspaper in New York to publish that story. All that you could do would be to have yourself blazoned as an adventuress.” "Lucy was staring, with clenched hands. “Why, I might as well be living in Turkey,” she cried. "“Very nearly,” said he. “There’s an old man in this town who has spent his lifetime lending money and hoarding it; he has something like eighty or a hundred millions now, I believe, and once every six months or so you will read in the newspapers that some woman has made an attempt to blackmail him. That is because he does to every pretty girl who comes into his office just exactly what old Waterman did to you; and those who are arrested for blackmail are simply the ones who are so unwise as to make a disturbance.” "“You see, Lucy,” continued Montague, after a pause, “you must realise the situation. This man is a god in New York. He controls all the avenues of wealth; he can make or break any person he chooses. It is really the truth—I believe he could ruin any man in the city whom he chose to set out after. He can have anything that he wants done, so far as the police are concerned. It is simply a matter of paying them. And he is accustomed to rule in everything; his lightest whim is law. If he wants a thing, he buys it, and that is his attitude toward women. He is used to being treated as a master; women seek him, and vie for his favour. If you had been able to hold it, you might have had a million-dollar palace on Riverside Drive, or a cottage with a million-dollar pier at Newport. You might have had carte blanche at all the shops, and all the yachting trips and private trains that you wanted. That is all that other women want, and he could not understand what more you could want.” "“But, Allan!” protested Lucy. “I can’t help thinking what would have happened to me if you had not come on board! I can’t help thinking about other women who must have been caught in such a trap. Why, Allan, I would have been equally helpless—no matter what he had done!” "“I am afraid so,” said he, gravely. “Many a woman has discovered it, I imagine. I understand how you feel, but what can you do about it? You can’t punish men like Waterman. You can’t punish them for anything they do, whether it is monopolising a necessity of life and starving thousands of people to death, or whether it is an attack upon a defenceless woman. There are rich men in this city who make it their diversion to answer advertisements and decoy young girls. A stenographer in my office told me that she had had over twenty positions in one year, and that she had left every one because some man in the office had approached her.” "He paused for a moment. “You see,” he added, “I have been finding out these things. You thought I was unreasonable, but I know what your dangers are. You are a stranger here; you have no friends and no influence, and so you will always be the one to suffer. I don’t mean merely in a case like this, where it comes to the police and the newspapers; I mean in social matters—where it is a question of your reputation, of the interpretation which people will place upon your actions. They have their wealth and their prestige and their privileges, and they stand at bay. They are perfectly willing to give a stranger a good time, if the stranger has a pretty face and a lively wit to entertain them; but when you come to trespass, or to threaten their power, then you find out how they can hate you, and how mercilessly they will slander and ruin you!”" .............. Montague takes Lucy to visit General Prentice. "“It seems to be such a widespread movement,” said Montague. "“It seems incredible that any one man could cause such an upset.” "“It is not one man,” said the General, “it is a group of men. I don’t say that it’s true, mind you. I wouldn’t be at liberty to say it even if I knew it; but there are certain things that I have seen, and I have my suspicions of others. And you must realise that a half-dozen men now control about ninety per cent of the banks of this city.” "“Things will get worse before they get any better, I believe,” said Curtiss, after a pause. "“The banking situation in this country at the present moment is simply unendurable; the legitimate banker is practically driven from the field by the speculator. A man finds himself in the position where he has either to submit to the dictation of such men, or else permit himself to be supplanted. It is a new element that has forced itself in. Apparently all a man needs in order to start a bank is credit enough to put up a building with marble columns and bronze gates. I could name you a man who at this moment owns eight banks, and when he started in, three years ago, I don’t believe he owned a million dollars.” "“You buy a piece of land, with as big a mortgage as you can get, and you put up a million-dollar building and mortgage that. You start a trust company, and you get out imposing advertisements, and promise high rates of interest, and the public comes in. Then you hypothecate your stock in company number one, and you have your dummy directors lend you more money, and you buy another trust company. They call that pyramiding—you have heard the term, no doubt, with regard to stocks; it is a fascinating game to play with banks, because the more of them you get, the more prominent you become in the newspapers, and the more the public trusts you.” "There was Stewart, the young Lochinvar out of the West. He had tried to buy the Trust Company of the Republic long ago, and so the General knew him and his methods. He had fought the Copper Trust to a standstill in Montana; the Trust had bought up the Legislature and both political machines, but Cummings had appealed to the public in a series of sensational campaigns, and had got his judges into office, and in the end the Trust had been forced to buy him out. And now he had come to New York to play this new game of bank-gambling, which paid even quicker profits than buying courts.—And then there was Holt, a sporting character, a vulgar man-about-town, who was identified with everything that was low and vile in the city; he, too, had turned his millions into banks.—And there was Cummings, the Ice King, who for years had financed the political machine in the city, and, by securing a monopoly of the docking-privileges, had forced all his rivals to the wall. He had set out to monopolise the coastwise steamship trade of the country, and had bought line after line of vessels by this same device of “pyramiding”; and now, finding that he needed still more money to buy out his rivals, he had purchased or started a dozen or so of trust companies and banks." .............. Mrs Billy Alden talking to Montague. "“I judge you have not many enemies,” added Mrs. Billy, after a pause. "“No especial ones,” said he. "“Well,” said she, “you should cultivate some. Enemies are the spice of life. I mean it, really,” she declared, as she saw him smile. "“I had never thought of it,” said he. “Have you never known what it is to get into a really good fight? You see, you are conventional, and you don’t like to acknowledge it. But what is there that wakes one up more than a good, vigorous hatred? Some day you will realise it—the chief zest in life is to go after somebody who hates you, and to get him down and see him squirm.” "“But suppose he gets you down?” interposed Montague. "“Ah!” said she, “you mustn’t let him! That is what you go into the fight for. Get after him, and do him first.” "“It sounds rather barbarous,” said he. "“On the contrary,” was the answer, “it’s the highest reach of civilisation. That is what Society is for—the cultivation of the art of hatred. It is the survival of the fittest in a new realm. You study your victim, you find out his weaknesses and his foibles, and you know just where to plant your sting. You learn what he wants, and you take it away from him. You choose your allies carefully, and you surround him and overwhelm him; then when you get through with him, you go after another.”" .............. "The steel situation is a peculiar one. Prices are kept at an altogether artificial level, and there is room for large profits to competitors of the Trust. But those who go into the business commonly find themselves unexpectedly handicapped. They cannot get the credit they want; orders overwhelm them in floods, but Wall Street will not put up money to help them. They find all kinds of powerful interests arrayed against them; there are raids upon their securities in the market, and mysterious rumours begin to circulate. They find suits brought against them which tend to injure their credit. And sometimes they will find important papers missing, important witnesses sailing for Europe, and so on. Then their most efficient employees will be bought up; their very bookkeepers and office-boys will be bribed, and all the secrets of their business passed on to their enemies. They will find that the railroads do not treat them squarely; cars will be slow in coming, and all kinds of petty annoyances will be practised. You know what the rebate is, and you can imagine the part which that plays. In these and a hundred other ways, the path of the independent steel manufacturer is made difficult. And now, Mr. Montague, this is a project to extend a railroad which will be of vast service to the chief competitor of the Steel Trust." ............... "I think I told you once how Davy paid forty thousand dollars for the nomination, and went to Congress. It was the year of a Democratic landslide, and they could have elected Reggie Mann if they had felt like it. I went to Washington to live the next winter, and Price was there...

  11. 4 out of 5

    Dr.J.G.

    The Moneychangers was published in 1908, and the author must have done his research. Wonder how much of it went into the subsequent World's End series, with its all encompassing panoramic scope that includes finance and business. The book begins guilelessly as usual with the author, this time with a pair of friends discussing a young woman newly arrived in NYC whom one of them knew from home, being brought up on the plantation next to hers until she ran off to New Orleans to marry an older man. B The Moneychangers was published in 1908, and the author must have done his research. Wonder how much of it went into the subsequent World's End series, with its all encompassing panoramic scope that includes finance and business. The book begins guilelessly as usual with the author, this time with a pair of friends discussing a young woman newly arrived in NYC whom one of them knew from home, being brought up on the plantation next to hers until she ran off to New Orleans to marry an older man. But it changes from there rapidly enough, via social parties, wolves after young women, and friends whom the said women trust with protection of their social and financial security, to the real subject of the work. "“They are lively chaps, the Steel crowd,” said the Major, chuckling. “You will have to keep your eyes open when you do business with them.”" The pace is faster here than in World's End series, while seeming relaxed like the Southerner protagonist, which is completely opposite to that of World's End series where it seemed like a whirl all the time, but things happened at their own pace anyway. .............. The end shocks one with not just ruin of a wealthy man by another, more powerful one, for sake of revenge about a woman who had a preference for reasons other than the said power or even wealth, but the quiet sacrifice of the young Lucy Dupree, in complete anonymity so no one who cared for her ever knew what happened to her. It shocks because it's representative of reality, one suspects, and the author wanted to expose the stark, grim, cruel nature thereof, of Wall Street and its men at the top. He's exposed a series of pyramids that various industries and their owners form, interconnected randomly via the said men of power who might be involved in more than one, or finance via banks they control, it all ultimately being topped by Wall Street. Lucy Dupree symbolises not just youth and beauty but innocence and naivete, loving heart and a lack of selfishness that is preyed on by the said men of power who are bestial in their vicious pursuit of acquisitions of not just wealth and objects but of women, of young and innocent women whom they'd bend to their will and destroy if the said woman is an unwilling unattainable person rather than an object. Lucy Dupree symbolises all this and more - she's the innocence and naivete not only of youth or of women, but in general of humanity, exploited by the hounds and hyenas and other beasts symbolised in men of power, here mostly those of Wall Street. .............. Montague is being tutored by the friend he went to for help, having discovered that someone he went to see has sent a detective after him. “I can introduce you to a man who’s in this room now, who was fighting the Ship-building swindle, and he got hold of a lot of important papers, and he took them to his office, and sat by while his clerks made thirty-two copies of them. And he put the originals and thirty-one of the copies in thirty-two different safe-deposit vaults in the city, and took the other copy to his home in a valise. And that night burglars broke in, and the valise was missing. The next day he wrote to the people he was fighting, ‘I was going to send you a copy of the papers which have come into my possession, but as you already have a copy, I will simply proceed to outline my proposition.’ And that was all. They settled for a million or two.”" .............. Montague sees Lucy who's accepted Ryder's invitation. "“Well,” said she, dubiously, “it’s nice to be noticed.” "“It is for those who like it,” said he; “and if a woman chooses to set out on a publicity campaign, and run a press bureau, and make herself a public character, why, that’s her privilege. But for heaven’s sake let her drop the sickly pretence that she is only driving beautiful horses, or listening to music, or entertaining her friends. I suppose a Society woman has as much right to advertise her personality as a politician or a manufacturer of pills; all I object to is the sham of it, the everlasting twaddle about her love of privacy. Take Mrs. Winnie Duval, for instance. You would think to hear her that her one ideal in life was to be a simple shepherdess and to raise flowers; but, as a matter of fact, she keeps a scrap-album, and if a week passes that the newspapers do not have some paragraphs about her doings, she begins to get restless.”" Wonder when Upton Sinclair reconciled himself to the fashionable society women, for they're quite the centre as Lanny's home in first few volumes of the World's End series." Soon Lucy experienced something she wasn't expecting, in her naivety. "“He is a monster!” cried Lucy. “I ought to have him put in jail.” "Montague shook his head. “You couldn’t do that,” he said. “I couldn’t!” exclaimed the other. "“Why not?” "“You couldn’t prove it,” said Montague. "“It would be your word against his, and they would take his every time. You can’t go and have Dan Waterman arrested as you could any ordinary man. And think of the notoriety it would mean!” "“I would like to expose him,” protested Lucy. “It would serve him right!” "“It would not do him the least harm in the world,” said Montague. “I can speak quite positively there, for I have seen it tried. You couldn’t get a newspaper in New York to publish that story. All that you could do would be to have yourself blazoned as an adventuress.” "Lucy was staring, with clenched hands. “Why, I might as well be living in Turkey,” she cried. "“Very nearly,” said he. “There’s an old man in this town who has spent his lifetime lending money and hoarding it; he has something like eighty or a hundred millions now, I believe, and once every six months or so you will read in the newspapers that some woman has made an attempt to blackmail him. That is because he does to every pretty girl who comes into his office just exactly what old Waterman did to you; and those who are arrested for blackmail are simply the ones who are so unwise as to make a disturbance.” "“You see, Lucy,” continued Montague, after a pause, “you must realise the situation. This man is a god in New York. He controls all the avenues of wealth; he can make or break any person he chooses. It is really the truth—I believe he could ruin any man in the city whom he chose to set out after. He can have anything that he wants done, so far as the police are concerned. It is simply a matter of paying them. And he is accustomed to rule in everything; his lightest whim is law. If he wants a thing, he buys it, and that is his attitude toward women. He is used to being treated as a master; women seek him, and vie for his favour. If you had been able to hold it, you might have had a million-dollar palace on Riverside Drive, or a cottage with a million-dollar pier at Newport. You might have had carte blanche at all the shops, and all the yachting trips and private trains that you wanted. That is all that other women want, and he could not understand what more you could want.” "“But, Allan!” protested Lucy. “I can’t help thinking what would have happened to me if you had not come on board! I can’t help thinking about other women who must have been caught in such a trap. Why, Allan, I would have been equally helpless—no matter what he had done!” "“I am afraid so,” said he, gravely. “Many a woman has discovered it, I imagine. I understand how you feel, but what can you do about it? You can’t punish men like Waterman. You can’t punish them for anything they do, whether it is monopolising a necessity of life and starving thousands of people to death, or whether it is an attack upon a defenceless woman. There are rich men in this city who make it their diversion to answer advertisements and decoy young girls. A stenographer in my office told me that she had had over twenty positions in one year, and that she had left every one because some man in the office had approached her.” "He paused for a moment. “You see,” he added, “I have been finding out these things. You thought I was unreasonable, but I know what your dangers are. You are a stranger here; you have no friends and no influence, and so you will always be the one to suffer. I don’t mean merely in a case like this, where it comes to the police and the newspapers; I mean in social matters—where it is a question of your reputation, of the interpretation which people will place upon your actions. They have their wealth and their prestige and their privileges, and they stand at bay. They are perfectly willing to give a stranger a good time, if the stranger has a pretty face and a lively wit to entertain them; but when you come to trespass, or to threaten their power, then you find out how they can hate you, and how mercilessly they will slander and ruin you!”" .............. Montague takes Lucy to visit General Prentice. "“It seems to be such a widespread movement,” said Montague. "“It seems incredible that any one man could cause such an upset.” "“It is not one man,” said the General, “it is a group of men. I don’t say that it’s true, mind you. I wouldn’t be at liberty to say it even if I knew it; but there are certain things that I have seen, and I have my suspicions of others. And you must realise that a half-dozen men now control about ninety per cent of the banks of this city.” "“Things will get worse before they get any better, I believe,” said Curtiss, after a pause. "“The banking situation in this country at the present moment is simply unendurable; the legitimate banker is practically driven from the field by the speculator. A man finds himself in the position where he has either to submit to the dictation of such men, or else permit himself to be supplanted. It is a new element that has forced itself in. Apparently all a man needs in order to start a bank is credit enough to put up a building with marble columns and bronze gates. I could name you a man who at this moment owns eight banks, and when he started in, three years ago, I don’t believe he owned a million dollars.” "“You buy a piece of land, with as big a mortgage as you can get, and you put up a million-dollar building and mortgage that. You start a trust company, and you get out imposing advertisements, and promise high rates of interest, and the public comes in. Then you hypothecate your stock in company number one, and you have your dummy directors lend you more money, and you buy another trust company. They call that pyramiding—you have heard the term, no doubt, with regard to stocks; it is a fascinating game to play with banks, because the more of them you get, the more prominent you become in the newspapers, and the more the public trusts you.” "There was Stewart, the young Lochinvar out of the West. He had tried to buy the Trust Company of the Republic long ago, and so the General knew him and his methods. He had fought the Copper Trust to a standstill in Montana; the Trust had bought up the Legislature and both political machines, but Cummings had appealed to the public in a series of sensational campaigns, and had got his judges into office, and in the end the Trust had been forced to buy him out. And now he had come to New York to play this new game of bank-gambling, which paid even quicker profits than buying courts.—And then there was Holt, a sporting character, a vulgar man-about-town, who was identified with everything that was low and vile in the city; he, too, had turned his millions into banks.—And there was Cummings, the Ice King, who for years had financed the political machine in the city, and, by securing a monopoly of the docking-privileges, had forced all his rivals to the wall. He had set out to monopolise the coastwise steamship trade of the country, and had bought line after line of vessels by this same device of “pyramiding”; and now, finding that he needed still more money to buy out his rivals, he had purchased or started a dozen or so of trust companies and banks." .............. Mrs Billy Alden talking to Montague. "“I judge you have not many enemies,” added Mrs. Billy, after a pause. "“No especial ones,” said he. "“Well,” said she, “you should cultivate some. Enemies are the spice of life. I mean it, really,” she declared, as she saw him smile. "“I had never thought of it,” said he. “Have you never known what it is to get into a really good fight? You see, you are conventional, and you don’t like to acknowledge it. But what is there that wakes one up more than a good, vigorous hatred? Some day you will realise it—the chief zest in life is to go after somebody who hates you, and to get him down and see him squirm.” "“But suppose he gets you down?” interposed Montague. "“Ah!” said she, “you mustn’t let him! That is what you go into the fight for. Get after him, and do him first.” "“It sounds rather barbarous,” said he. "“On the contrary,” was the answer, “it’s the highest reach of civilisation. That is what Society is for—the cultivation of the art of hatred. It is the survival of the fittest in a new realm. You study your victim, you find out his weaknesses and his foibles, and you know just where to plant your sting. You learn what he wants, and you take it away from him. You choose your allies carefully, and you surround him and overwhelm him; then when you get through with him, you go after another.”" .............. "The steel situation is a peculiar one. Prices are kept at an altogether artificial level, and there is room for large profits to competitors of the Trust. But those who go into the business commonly find themselves unexpectedly handicapped. They cannot get the credit they want; orders overwhelm them in floods, but Wall Street will not put up money to help them. They find all kinds of powerful interests arrayed against them; there are raids upon their securities in the market, and mysterious rumours begin to circulate. They find suits brought against them which tend to injure their credit. And sometimes they will find important papers missing, important witnesses sailing for Europe, and so on. Then their most efficient employees will be bought up; their very bookkeepers and office-boys will be bribed, and all the secrets of their business passed on to their enemies. They will find that the railroads do not treat them squarely; cars will be slow in coming, and all kinds of petty annoyances will be practised. You know what the rebate is, and you can imagine the part which that plays. In these and a hundred other ways, the path of the independent steel manufacturer is made difficult. And now, Mr. Montague, this is a project to extend a railroad which will be of vast service to the chief competitor of the Steel Trust." ............... "I think I told you once how Davy paid forty thousand dollars for the nomination, and went to Congress. It was the year of a Democratic landslide, and they could have elected Reggie Mann if they had felt like it. I went to Washington to live the next winter, and Price was there....

  12. 5 out of 5

    Denise Mann

    I read this book immediately after finishing The Jungle. They made for an interesting pair of reads, though it wasn't intentional at the time. Where The Jungle offers deep insight into the lives of the working poor, The Moneychangers is the story of the mega rich. As many other reviewers have pointed out, there is a strong correlation between the events in this story and those that brought on our economic downturn beginning 2007-08 in the US. While this book is a work of fiction, the reader migh I read this book immediately after finishing The Jungle. They made for an interesting pair of reads, though it wasn't intentional at the time. Where The Jungle offers deep insight into the lives of the working poor, The Moneychangers is the story of the mega rich. As many other reviewers have pointed out, there is a strong correlation between the events in this story and those that brought on our economic downturn beginning 2007-08 in the US. While this book is a work of fiction, the reader might struggle to believe it doesn't have roots of truth informing the plot and dialog at times. While the love story might threaten to lighten and sweeten the story, it does end up playing an important role in the turns of plot. Sinclair paints a caricature portrait of most of the characters; this is not so much distracting as it is a comment on the nature of those elite members of society whose lives are very much about "playing the part."

  13. 5 out of 5

    Rayrumtum

    This is a fictional account of the panic of 1907 in which the US financial system nearly collapsed. The close call led to the subsequent creation of the Federal Reserve System as a lender of last resort. The novel is a nice antidote to the nonsense in Ayn Rand's stories of the harassed entrepreneur. Many of the tricks that still exist today were described in the novel. As a fictional treatment it was possible to be more forthcoming about the techniques without fear of libel being tried in courts This is a fictional account of the panic of 1907 in which the US financial system nearly collapsed. The close call led to the subsequent creation of the Federal Reserve System as a lender of last resort. The novel is a nice antidote to the nonsense in Ayn Rand's stories of the harassed entrepreneur. Many of the tricks that still exist today were described in the novel. As a fictional treatment it was possible to be more forthcoming about the techniques without fear of libel being tried in courts controlled by big business. The book is particularly timely as we are about to begin an era of government of the billionaire, by the billionaire, and for the billionaire.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Rebekah

    This book is so prophetic! If you only changed nthe style of clothes, the formal way of talking then and called all the coaches, taxis, this book would be perfect for today.The shenanigans this CEO's of large corporations play where the littel guy lose all but the scoundral that started it all gets to resign with millions while tax dollars bail them out so they can give themselves more bonuses. Guess things never really change.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Ronald Newton

    When I finished this, I thought of how capitalism , greed, and the desire for power can combine to put the U.S. economy at risk. The recent recession was, IMHO, based on these factors. Unlimited power seems, too often leads to it being abused. Maybe the temple needs an occasional cleansing? (See Matthew 21:12) The Moneychangers is a great read - highly recommended.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Matt

    Like "Oil." Only not yet a movie. And with flapper type characters, set in 1907, pre-Wall Street Crash but with equal amounts of portent. A quintessentially American novel. Or something. I'm only on page 2. And it's already making me smoke...which means it's good.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Rhonda

    I liked this book as well as I liked "The Jungle," also by Sinclair. It fascinates me that it was written in 1908--before Black Monday. It is a little depressing, though, because things today don't seem to have improved that much. Quaint, easy to read, interesting.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    Sinclair's critique of Wall Street is as relevant today as when it was written in 1919.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jason

    A lesson not learned A scary look at the Wall street of yesterday. Sadly, one wonders if it repeats itself every cycle. We shall never learn.

  20. 4 out of 5

    James Steele

    Feels very much like a Victorian novel. The bulk of the story is Allen Montague, a NY lawyer, going from dinner party to social event and getting in touch with how the people in high Society live. Their world is mostly gossip about the other people in Society. That’s the perspective of this novel. Few people are doing anything, but we sure hear a lot about who is doing what. I couldn’t keep all the characters straight, but that’s not important; the people exist merely as ideas in this book. Alle Feels very much like a Victorian novel. The bulk of the story is Allen Montague, a NY lawyer, going from dinner party to social event and getting in touch with how the people in high Society live. Their world is mostly gossip about the other people in Society. That’s the perspective of this novel. Few people are doing anything, but we sure hear a lot about who is doing what. I couldn’t keep all the characters straight, but that’s not important; the people exist merely as ideas in this book. Allen gets roped into a business scheme involving the expansion of a railroad line, but he finds out the business exists as an elaborate scheme to enrich the owners and their friends and family at the expense of the investors and shareholders. Disgusted, he quits, and soon discovers that whole business deal to expand the rail line was actually a trap set by an even richer businessman in order to ruin a rival. The shutting down of this bank backing the railroad project creates a run on the bank, which in turn creates a run on other banks, which ripples across the stock market and grinds the economy to a halt. The banks don’t actually have money; they’ve lent all of it out or dropped it in investments, and when it comes time to pay up, the money isn’t there, which means their enterprise is insolvent. The man who started it, head of the most powerful bank in the country, is called upon to rescue the system. It’s eerily similar to what’s going on today, how a few greedy bankers have so much power and influence in the business world, how they buy the government up and down to suit their needs, how they craft legislation for politicians to pass so they can do as they please without anyone realizing it, how they buy the media to suppress anyone trying to report on it. Their whims and rivalries and plays to destroy one another have consequences that jeopardize the entire economy, and most people don’t realize it. They assume these hiccups in the economy are natural, or the result of people getting scared over rumors, never stopping to think they could be deliberate. The idea is explained here and somewhat shown, but the perspective is rather passive. Montague is merely an observer in all of this and is only somewhat connected to the events. It’s not a bad book, but Sinclair would do a better job showing these ideas at work in later stories, namely “Oil!”.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Martha

    I have come to expect brutal honesty from Upton Sinclair. This book about the machinations that led to the stock market panic in 1907 was disturbing in many ways and makes me hopeless for any recourse against the smooth operators: crooked businessmen and bankers. Sinclair’s story follows Allan Montague and his friends and business associates including Lucy, who through her own poor judgement gets caught up romantically with one of the finance power players despite the warnings of her friends. Mon I have come to expect brutal honesty from Upton Sinclair. This book about the machinations that led to the stock market panic in 1907 was disturbing in many ways and makes me hopeless for any recourse against the smooth operators: crooked businessmen and bankers. Sinclair’s story follows Allan Montague and his friends and business associates including Lucy, who through her own poor judgement gets caught up romantically with one of the finance power players despite the warnings of her friends. Montague’s skepticism and despair as he witnesses the shady dealings and freewheeling ruining of businesses and lives are still relevant, a judgement on crooked dealers over 100 years later. The most amazing thing is that this old book about a historical event could still capture my interest. We are doomed to repeat history if we aren’t diligent enough to study it. Maybe the honest ones among us should follow Montague’s lead and go into politics.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Kevin

    This is the first Upton Sinclair book I’ve read other than The Jungle which is one of my all time favorites. For whatever reason most of Sinclair’s books are out of print. Weird. Probably nothing to look into there. Anyways, this book looks at the insane gambling on Wall Street with our money, the way the rich control the poor, and how the government plays right into it. It sounds just like 2008 but this book was published in 1908. The characters and story here are not nearly as strong as the fa This is the first Upton Sinclair book I’ve read other than The Jungle which is one of my all time favorites. For whatever reason most of Sinclair’s books are out of print. Weird. Probably nothing to look into there. Anyways, this book looks at the insane gambling on Wall Street with our money, the way the rich control the poor, and how the government plays right into it. It sounds just like 2008 but this book was published in 1908. The characters and story here are not nearly as strong as the family drama in The Jungle but the exposition of how financial elites manipulate the system is incredibly eye opening. It’s a quick read and you can get it for free on kindle as this highly topical and relevant book is now in the public domain.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Ali Miremadi

    Bitter satire on JP Morgan and the other market manipulators of early 20th century Wall St. So many of the games go on still - not least the establishment of tariffs on steel from corrupt politicians in the pay of special interests. The novel itself is too transparently a moral diatribe to be excellent. I bet Oliver Stone used it for ‘Wall St’ though.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Valerie Carlson

    This was my first book I read by Upton Sinclair. This was a great story that made you think about corruption in our financial institutions and the potential devastating effects it could have on the world. This book makes you think about the Great Recession of 2008 that took place over 101 years after the 1907 run on the banks. I recommend this book.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Eric Pedersen

    Non-stop read. I was surprised to find it difficult to put the book down once I started reading, and only did so once I'd reached the end. The story pulled me in and held my attention for an entire evening. Well worth the time.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Katy

    The same things continue on today, it's funny how nothing has really changed they have just gotten better at it.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jules

    Read and fill in the names of the main characters with actual people in early 20th century NYC!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Johnny

    After discovering the work of Upton Sinclair in high school, I have only sparingly enjoyed his work spaced over intervals of several years. The Jungle was my first experience, but that expose of the Chicago meat-packing industry didn’t have the same effect on me that it did on President Theodore Roosevelt and many others. The former president became a vegetarian for a short amount of time. I kept on eating meat. Others refused to eat sausage or hot dogs after finding out what went into them and After discovering the work of Upton Sinclair in high school, I have only sparingly enjoyed his work spaced over intervals of several years. The Jungle was my first experience, but that expose of the Chicago meat-packing industry didn’t have the same effect on me that it did on President Theodore Roosevelt and many others. The former president became a vegetarian for a short amount of time. I kept on eating meat. Others refused to eat sausage or hot dogs after finding out what went into them and the unsanitary conditions that Sinclair exposed. I began to seek out such exotic culinary treasures as “Vienna Sausages” and read the ingredients with perverse delight. But what stayed with me was the way that Sinclair, known along with Frank Norris, Theodore Dreiser, and Sinclair Lewis as part of the muckraking school of novelists, told a compelling story with interesting protagonists at the same time he exposed the inner workings of one industry or another. Still, my next encounter with Sinclair wasn’t a novel. It was a book entitled The Goosestep: A Study of American Education. I was in college, chafing at the institutional constraints and the narrow-mindedness (my perception—fair or not) of those in my student body, so I was receptive to the idea that trustees acted in lock-step with capitalists and that German influence was too pervasive within the curriculum and pedagogical approaches of the day. I noticed Oil and King Coal on the shelf and resolved to get back to them some day, but my coursework intervened. When Oil was made into a motion picture, I read the novel. Although it was more “preachy” concerning Sinclair’s socialism than I remembered The Jungle being, it was interesting enough that I found an obscure novel by the same author entitled Co-op which I immediately purchased and read. It was still “preachy,” but the story was more like that of the more popular novel. Now, I have located The Moneychangers and I am delighted. In a strict sense, The Moneychangers would not be considered “historical fiction” as I have classified it. Sinclair wrote it to reflect business conditions within the latter part of the 19th century and the turn of the 20th century. It was the era of capitalistic indulgence prior to the infamous stock market crash in the ‘20s and it paints a vivid portrait of the age with darker shadows than a Rembrandt canvas with regard to common business practices of the day. Indeed, published in 1908, it seems to be based on Sinclair’s perspectives on the Bank Panic of 1907. And sadly, some of the practices have managed to resurface in the modern era with the Savings and Loan crisis of the late 20th century and its propensity to use “liar’s loans” (loans with no appraised collateral) to stack debt upon top of debt, as well as the banking scandals that led to the 2008 meltdown of our financial markets. As you read about the frauds perpetrated in The Moneychangers, you can readily see interesting parallels for our era. I guess Ecclesiastes was right about nothing new under the sun. Of course, the vapid portrayal of upper-class society will be very familiar to readers of Henry James and Edith Wharton. Portions of The Moneychangers takes its cue from that style of novel. The idea of a relative innocent from outside of society being tarnished by taking up associations with the wrong people definitely has echoes in those very urbane novels. However, Sinclair regularly demonstrates his sympathies with the working class whenever the protagonist takes a broader view of what is going on. It seemed to me, however, that Sinclair found himself in search of an ending. The book ends very abruptly during his version of the “Bank Panic.” Some of the characters meet horrible ends. Some of the issues are quite unresolved at the conclusion of the novel. Yet, for all of its abrupt climax, the journey is well worth it. I well remembered my day of visiting mansions in Newport, RI when I read about the summer in Newport in the novel. The historical aspects are fascinating—all the more because they weren’t historical when Sinclair penned them. They were fresh in the memory of this muckraking socialist and they seemed fresh to me as I read them. Can my reading of King Coal be far behind?

  29. 4 out of 5

    Blair McKinney

    Imagine what can happen when the bulk of the money and power in the United is held by just a greedy few... The horror of such a situation is recounted in this Upton Sinclair book, concerning 1907's stock market crash. And it is disturbing to us today, because it seems too possible to have its own retelling. I got it free on my kindle; worth the little time it takes to read.

  30. 5 out of 5

    B

    Fascinating—although maybe not in the ways Sinclair would want. Defintely helps to have some background in the crash of 1907 so you can tell the players. The basic plot of this book is that the J.P. Morgan stand-in starts the Crash because he is upset to have been rebuffed in his attempts at forcible rape. And the main character is more alarmed at the general prospect of wiretapping than he is about this specific incident of rape to his friend. This is a strange worldview. And Sinclair picked a s Fascinating—although maybe not in the ways Sinclair would want. Defintely helps to have some background in the crash of 1907 so you can tell the players. The basic plot of this book is that the J.P. Morgan stand-in starts the Crash because he is upset to have been rebuffed in his attempts at forcible rape. And the main character is more alarmed at the general prospect of wiretapping than he is about this specific incident of rape to his friend. This is a strange worldview. And Sinclair picked a strange main character. He's not quite 1%, but he hangs out with them. So in a book that's obviously meant to feed upon class conflict and problems with the ultra-wealthy, he asks the reader to sympathize with the near-ultra. I could not tell if that was a deliberate point or not. Even though it seems that much of the short book is a series of pseudonymous namedrops, it remains interesting. Although I can't tell you why.

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