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The Moneychangers

3.63  ·  Rating Details ·  248 Ratings  ·  32 Reviews
Upton Sinclair Jr. (1878-1968), was a prolific American author who wrote over 90 books in many genres and was widely considered to be one of the best investigators advocating socialist views and supporting anarchist causes. He achieved considerable popularity in the first half of the 20th century. He gained particular fame for his 1906 novel The Jungle, which dealt with co ...more
Paperback, 212 pages
Published October 6th 2007 by Dodo Press (first published 1919)
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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
...more
Jim
Nov 24, 2016 Jim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...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
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
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
Rayrumtum
Dec 05, 2016 Rayrumtum rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
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 ...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.
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.

Matt
Aug 04, 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.
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.
Lisa
Oct 12, 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.
Jason
Jul 03, 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.
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
Blair McKinney
Feb 18, 2017 Blair McKinney rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
B
Sep 01, 2014 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
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.
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.
Vivi
May 19, 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.
Michael
Sep 11, 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.
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.
Kim
Nov 25, 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.
Elizabeth
Prophetic!
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.
Sara
Aug 07, 2013 Sara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, lit, own
One of the funniest endings ever, in my book.
Sherry
May 08, 2009 Sherry rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
... but have no desire to finish reading ...
Tom
Feb 18, 2016 Tom rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Closer to 2 3/4
Katinki
Dec 03, 2011 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.
Kelley
Kelley rated it really liked it
Nov 02, 2012
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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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