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The Money Men: Capitalism, Democracy, and the Hundred Years' War Over the American Dollar (Enterprise)

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An "insightful" (Publishers Weekly) history of the development of American capitalism and the men who made it great.
Most Americans are familiar with the political history of the United States, but there is another history woven all through it, a largely forgotten history—the story of the money men. Acclaimed historian H. W. Brands brings them back to life: J. P. Morgan, who stabilized a foundering U.S. Treasury in 1907; Alexander Hamilton, who founded the first national bank, and Nicholas Biddle, under whose directorship it failed; Jay Cooke, who helped to finance the Union war effort through his then-innovative strategy of selling bonds to ordinary Americans; and Jay Gould, who tried to corner the market on gold in 1869 and as a result brought about Black Friday and fled for his life.

From Publishers Weekly

Aug 21, 2006 – Brands appraises five key players in American financial history: Alexander Hamilton, who advocated federal assumption of state Revolutionary War debt through the establishment of a national bank; Nicholas Biddle, who presided over the Bank of the United States when it failed under pressure from Andrew Jackson; Jay Cooke, who financed the Union through retail bonds during the Civil War; Jay Gould, who precipitated the Black Friday collapse of gold prices in 1869; and J.P. Morgan, who stabilized the financial panic of 1907. Each man, Brands explains, represented capitalism intertwined but in conflict with democracy. Capitalism promoted free trade and strong financial institutions, while democracy called for protectionism and financial institutions that helped customers instead of making insiders rich. This inherent tension, the author writes, was resolved by the 1913 compromise that created the Federal Reserve System. The author's generalizations, however insightful, make rigid organizing principles, given that different political and economic forces shaped each era. Focusing on one capitalist per episode also distorts the stories, as does lurching from crisis to crisis while glossing over the important consensus developments that occurred in between. Brands (Andrew Jackson) delivers a competent but schematic general history.

Customer Reviews

Great book, great product

"The Money Men" is a look at America's development from a financial stand point, which is something entirely new to me. Having only learned dates, battles, etc. I find these 5 pointof views very helpful to my understanding of the event . Best of all every chapter from Prologue to Epilogue is here( minus the notes, futher reading and index). The audio is great and the actor is entertaining. This is a great product.

The Money Men: Capitalism, Democracy, and the Hundred Years' War Over the American Dollar (Enterprise)
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  • $9.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: United States
  • Published: Nov 01, 2010
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
  • Seller: W. W. Norton
  • Print Length: 240 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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