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The Moneychangers

3.58  ·  Rating Details ·  225 Ratings  ·  28 Reviews
Upton Sinclair writes an historic novel concerning the Wall Street scare of 1907. He describes how several formidable capitalists organize the fall of a rival trust company. The ruin of this enterprise effects a stock market crash and a bank run; the ultimate cost is the loss of thousands of jobs which throws the world into financial chaos. Allan Montague, a prosperous New ...more
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Published January 1st 2004 by Nuvision Publications (first published 1919)
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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 ...more
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
...more
Kristen
Mar 13, 2009 Kristen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Denise Mann
Aug 19, 2015 Denise Mann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
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.
Theresa Malloy
Mar 16, 2016 Theresa Malloy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: by-journalists
This is a fictional book by Upton Sinclair about the 1907 stock crisis. The narrative was emotional and gripping. A lawyer becomes wrapped up in crooked companies who create a stock market crash that devastates thousands while padding the pockets of others. The lawyer becomes shocked, overwhelmed and disgusted as he watches helpless people crumble while other take in millions.
Ronald Newton
Nov 15, 2014 Ronald Newton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.

Rhonda
Sep 25, 2014 Rhonda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Matt
Oct 12, 2008 Matt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jason
Jul 05, 2015 Jason rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Lisa
Oct 14, 2011 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sinclair's critique of Wall Street is as relevant today as when it was written in 1919.
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 ...more
B
Jan 17, 2015 B rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, westend
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
...more
Kim
Nov 26, 2015 Kim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
THREE AND A HALF STARS

A disturbing tale of finance. Since I don't have much understanding of the history of economics in the United States of America, I can't tell whether or not it was prescient. So I'll just give it three and a half stars and call it done.
Elise
Mar 20, 2016 Elise rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An example of the use of pulp fiction in the struggle against corporate greed that remains relevant today.
Tom
Feb 18, 2016 Tom rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Closer to 2 3/4
Craig
Oct 16, 2012 Craig rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not bad - typical Sinclair with some fast action that isn't too detailed or confusing. The ending was a bit weird; not what I expected. But I can understand the book's recent uptick in popularity with the current perspective/opinion of Wall Street and the bankers by much of today's US population. Its sad that this is fiction but could easily be fact and it says something about Sinclair that he saw trends and things like this back when he wrote the book. Maybe he was ahead of his time? :)
Chrissie
Nov 25, 2012 Chrissie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Yikes. I knew we were in trouble. I don't think I knew we were in this much trouble.

Moral of the story? Become a lawyer. Don't play the stocks. Listen to your internal compass. Don't mess with power hungry money grubbers.

Done, done, and done.

Also, file in the small group of books not written by Harper Lee and/or John Grisham (they totally collaborated, right?) in which a lawyer is the most morally defensible character.
Neil Crossan
Unlike the Jungle & Oil, this book was much shorter and focused solely on those on the financial top. Sinclair tried to cram a lot of financial tricks/schemes into under 200 pages while spending little time with his characters (and there are a lot) so you never get invested into the story. BUT any book written in 1908 and calls the Crash is worth something. Bottom line, not much has changed in the world of high finance.
Michael
Sep 16, 2013 Michael rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Upton Sinclair's politics are obvious. The book relentlessly draws the same sketch over and over: Wall Street tycoons are greedy, evil, over-indulgent pigs. They have the economy in their clutches and with a swift stroke they can bring the country to its knees. That's all true but Sinclair's story telling skills are not good enough to make it very interesting.
Tim Brown
Tenth of public-domain classics I never read from Project Gutenberg read on my iPod using iBooks software.

Lots of over-the-top descriptions of the obscenely rich New York Titans of
Oil, Steel, and Insurance circa 1908, as seen through the eyes of a lawyer with a conscience who enters their world. A sequel to The Metropolis.
Vivi
May 20, 2011 Vivi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have this book in my iBooks library for iPhone and read it with all of my otherwise will be wasted waiting time. It's so very smooth to read. I don't know a whole lot about finance but it wasn't an obstacle to prevent me from understanding the story. And it got me very interested in knowing more about it.
Sam
Oct 23, 2014 Sam rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
For its time I'm sure this was amazing, nothing new here. I look forward to The Jungle.
Katinki
Jan 08, 2012 Katinki rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
meh. not that great. again, i really need half stars. i'd have given this a 2.5.
Wendy
Aug 20, 2013 Wendy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
The last honest man in NYC and seriously he's going to go into politics!?
Sara
Jun 18, 2016 Sara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, lit, own
One of the funniest endings ever, in my book.
Sherry
Aug 14, 2009 Sherry rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
... but have no desire to finish reading ...
Elizabeth
Prophetic!
Rebecca Rives
Rebecca Rives rated it it was amazing
Sep 24, 2016
Bluecatblues
Bluecatblues rated it really liked it
Sep 22, 2016
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Upton Beall Sinclair, Jr. was an American author who wrote close to one hundred books in many genres. He achieved popularity in the first half of the twentieth century, acquiring particular fame for his classic muckraking novel, The Jungle (1906). To gather information for the novel, Sinclair spent seven weeks undercover working in the meat packing plants of Chicago. These direct experiences expos ...more
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