Rainbow's End: The Crash of 1929

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Oxford University Press, May 1, 2003 - History - 368 pages
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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 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.

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RAINBOW'S END: The Crash of 1929

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

A well-written, comprehensible assessment of the 1929 stock-market crash.Klein (The Life and Legend of E.H. Harriman, 2000, etc.) is a seasoned business historian, and he humanizes a potentially dry ... Read full review

Rainbow's end: the crash of 1929

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Klein (history, Univ. of Rhode Island), a Pulitzer Prize finalist who specializes in American business history, observes that "scholars have yet to determine what actually caused the [1929 stock ... Read full review


The Summer of Fun 1929
America the Bountiful
The Club and the Street
Plungers and Politicians
The Birth of the Bull
The Good Life
The New Era
The Culture of Greed
The Fall Follies
Rainbows End
Over the Rainbow
The Winter of Discontent 1930
Selected Bibliography

Makin Whoopee

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Page xix - ... been the climax of a cycle in American mass thinking and mass emotion. There was hardly a man or woman in the country whose attitude toward life had not been affected by it in some degree and was not now affected by the sudden and brutal shattering of hope. With the big bull market gone and prosperity going, Americans were soon to find themselves living in an altered world which called for new adjustments, new ideas, new habits of thought, and a new order of values. The psychological climate...
Page xix - Prosperity is more than an economic condition ; it is a state of mind. The big bull market had been more than the climax of a business cycle; it had been the climax of a cycle in American mass thinking and mass emotion.

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About the author (2003)

Maury Klein is Professor of History at the University of Rhode Island and one of the most acclaimed historians of American business at work today. He is the author of many books, including The Life and Legend of Jay Gould, Unfinished Business: The Railroad in American Life, and Days of Defiance: Sumter, Secession, and the Coming of the Civil War.

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