Muckraker, Upton Sinclair, tells the fictionalized story of the Wall Street panic of 1907. The panic, according to Sinclair, was orchestrated by several very powerful capitalists in order to dethrone a rival trust company. They did this because man's revenge over being smitten by a woman, to put the anti-trust President in his place, and greed. The ruin of the rival trust company caused a stock market crash and a bank rush which ultimately cost thousands their jobs and savings and put the entire world into financial turmoil.
The story is told through the eyes of Allan Montague -- a successful lawyer living in New York. Through the course of the story he becomes introduced to several power players -- many of whom have millions riding in the stock market. These big players, also use fronts and shill companies whose only purpose is to sell things -- they do not make anything. This gets the public and the government to invest in their companies which ultimately go bankrupt.
The players in the story aren't too terribly interested in money. They use it as points and live to out maneuver the other. Sinclair reveals the back room shanagans of the stock market and the manipulations they pulled on the market. In addition, he points out the press was unable to print the "truth" on account that many of the corporations owned the newspapers.
The book was a little hard to follow despite Sinclair's lucid writing style. There were many players in the story, many making brief and periodic appearances. Also, the economic theory behind the maneuverings could leave a reader a little bewildered if they aren't up on the subject of trusts, stocks, high finance and corporations. Although, I suspect that many of the manipulations the capitalists did have been corrected thanks to modern checks and safeguards, the book does reveal the vast amount of corruption on all levels of the American system: the government, banks, and other businesses manipulating other businesses. This book was almost a thriller / mystery and was entertaining and informative throughout.