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The Moneychangers

3.58 of 5 stars 3.58  ·  rating details  ·  178 ratings  ·  21 reviews
Upton Sinclair's disturbing novel about the Wall Street scare of 1907 portrays the tactics of greedy capitalists who organize the fall of a rival trust company, creating a crash in the stock market crash and a run on American banks. Ultimately thousands of jobs are lost, throwing the world into financial chaos. Newly designed and typeset in a modern 6-by-9-inch format by W ...more
Paperback, 184 pages
Published July 1st 2008 by Classic Books Library (first published 1919)
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The Communist Manifesto by Karl MarxDas Kapital by Karl MarxThe State and Revolution by Vladimir Ilich LeninThe Jungle by Upton SinclairReform or Revolution by Rosa Luxemburg
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101st out of 283 books — 148 voters
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Community Reviews

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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
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
...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
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.
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
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
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.

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.
Craig
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? :)
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.
Chrissie
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
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 W. 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
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
For its time I'm sure this was amazing, nothing new here. I look forward to The Jungle.
Katinki
meh. not that great. again, i really need half stars. i'd have given this a 2.5.
Lisa
Sinclair's critique of Wall Street is as relevant today as when it was written in 1919.
Wendy
Aug 20, 2013 Wendy rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2013
The last honest man in NYC and seriously he's going to go into politics!?
Sherry
... but have no desire to finish reading ...
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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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