The first major history of the Crash in over a decade, Rainbow's End tells the story of the stock market collapse in a colorful, swift-moving narrative that blends a vivid portrait of the 1920s with an intensely gripping account of Wall Street's greatest catastrophe.
The book offers a vibrant picture of a world full of plungers, powerful bankers, corporate titans, millionaire brokers, and buoyantly optimistic stock market bulls. We meet Sunshine Charley Mitchell, head of the National City Bank, powerful financiers Jack Morgan and Jacob Schiff, Wall Street manipulators such as the legendary Jesse Livermore, and the lavish-living Billy Durant, founder of General Motors. As Klein follows the careers of these men, he shows us how the financial house of cards gradually grew taller, as the irrational exuberance of an earlier age gripped America and convinced us that the market would continue to rise forever. Then, in October 1929, came a "perfect storm"-like convergence of factors that shook Wall Street to its foundations. We relive Black Thursday, when police lined Wall Street, brokers grew hysterical, customers "bellowed like lunatics," and the ticker tape fell hours behind. This is followed by the even worse Bloody Tuesday, when an irrational desire to sell at any price gripped the market and even blue chip stocks plummeted precariously. This compelling history of the Crash--the first to follow the market closely for the two years leading up to the disaster--illuminates a major turning point in our history.
©2001 Maury Klein (P)2011 Audible, Inc.
The crash and Great Depression are of course iconic stories. This book starts in the late teens and follows various threads through the 1920s, culminating in the crash. It is more about the "rainbow" than its end. It adds a lot of telling detail to the more familiar overall story. This is fine business and financial history, with several mini-biographies of key characters.
The topic sparked my interest about a dozen years ago after reading Karen Blumenthal's "Six Days in October - The Stock Market crash of 1929" Her book, was children's book believe it or not and is quite good! I actually got that recommendation from the Wall Street Journal as I recall. It's about 150 pages and you can read it in an afternoon. And do so before you listen to this one because it'll be a good primer for what actually happened. People often get confused and lost in the Stock Market stuff relating to that time frame but Blumenthal's book bridges that gap.
Then pick this one up. "Rainbow's End" does an excellent job of explaining all the events that lead up to the crash including the sentiment of the average American, how spirits were on the rise, marketing was making a big push into every residential home in the country, and people were spending money (often money they didn't have), on having good time and entertaining themselves. That piece is really quite interesting. The book will then take you thru every aspect of the crash and how it came to be, who the major players were, and how they fared.
And the narration was quite good too. The reader did an excellent job of keeping the listener engaged while maintaining a steady voice with good annunciation, and inflection. I'd listen to him again.
This title is worth your time and at just under 12 hours, you get thru it in record time!
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It flows but not in a story like manner. It is allot of facts and some stories about key characters who played pivotal roles in the crash but was lacking in the type of story telling which would have made me want to listen. I had to make myself listen and pay attention.
An encyclopedia or the wikapedia on the internet
Not really... first there were no characters or rather no dialogue. He had a good voice but got into a rhythm which became annoying. It was like listening to a horse race back in the 1930's.
No I struggled to pay attention because it had was missing a compelling story line other than the facts and figures of the crash. Also the speaker was annoying with the rhythm he used to read the book.
Should you buy this book? The answer is yes, overall. This book has some solid material regarding the crash. I am 47 now, so I never saw the '29 crash, but Mom and Dad both lived through it and my maternal grandfather owned two banks at the time of the crash and it affected my family severely. We went from riches to rags in a matter of two years. This book has allot of facts that you cant find in other books. So overall I am glad I got it and though i have struggled through it for the reasons above, it still is good source material. It is better than a text book.
"From a UK perspective"
The book is wonderful. Most companies on the Stock market do share buybacks and dividends in terms of real business growth. Also the book explains well how science, technology, knowledge and construction techniques have improved. In real terms of modern economic growth buildings have not doubled in size every 30 years going back 100 years or more. Also the average salary is still only able to only to afford 1 adult + 2 children + living expenses.
"Quite interesting but..."
This was quite interesting as far as exploring how the bubble and crash occurred and gave quite a good overview of these events, but a lot of it was very American specific that can make it quite difficult for non Americans to connect with - largely the habit the author has for setting the scene or suggesting the mood of the time was shown via sports with long baseball examples. If you don't know or follow baseball these frequent forays can make the book pretty inaccessible.
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