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The Moneychangers Hardcover – Aug 2006

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Synergy International of the Americas (August 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9997885058
  • ISBN-13: 978-9997885050
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.6 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 481 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
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Product Description

About the Author

Upton Sinclair (1878-1968), novelist and journalist, is best known for his novel about the Chicago meatpacking industry, ""The Jungle"." A paperback edition of his ""I, Candidate for Governor"" is available from California. Jules Tygiel is the author of ""The Great Los Angeles Swindle: Oil, Stocks, and Scandal during the Roaring Twenties"" (paperback California, 1996) and ""The Great Experiment: Jackie Robinson and His Legacy"." He is Professor of History at San Francisco State University. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
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.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9a52b0e4) out of 5 stars 54 reviews
70 of 75 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9a415f3c) out of 5 stars Thriller / Suspense / Mystery of sorts..... June 10 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
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.
43 of 47 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9a4173c0) out of 5 stars Interesting book Aug. 8 2001
By mchenryed - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Muckraker and socialist writer, Upton Sinclair, takes on the subject of the corruption of formal religions in this vitriolic piece of non-fiction. Sinclair writes mainly about the crimes that organized Christian religions have committed against the common laborer and the strides they have taken to ingratiate themselves with big business.
Sinclair loads up a cart of rotten eggs and begins hurling them. He scores some major hits. He takes on the Anglican church and their faults as they drove the country of England into lack of preparedness for World War I. The Catholic church, which Sinclair argues is the worst of the bunch, gets 50 pages of scathing attacks--everything from where money came from to buy their churches and how they duped soldiers into world war I with seemingly holy prayer books. He also gives case examples on how they patched the wounds of the striking workers but failed to address the inequalities which causes the workers to strike. The protestant churches get their fair share as well with their crooked ministers who Rockefeller used to pacify his unruly and striking workers.
Organized religion, Sinclair points out, has also undermined women's rights, the right of poor worker to strike or find something better, and brought in a breed of charlatans (some of which have grown tremendously and still exist today). Sinclair also uses history to point out obvious abuses and shows how in some cases the writings of saints with socialistic ideas have been suppressed and not taught (or conveniently ignored).
Sinclair, at the end of the book, does not condemn Christianity. He believes that when the Social Revolution occurs that a new Christianity will take place that will encourage and make equal everyone's rights. Some of the facts and information are a bit dated, but over all the some of the same problems that existed at the turn of the century are still around. In addition, some of the ideas were a bit complicated and probably required more knowledge of what the issues were of the day than what I was familiar with. This book is a definite reminder of the effects of religious corruption and abuses.
27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9a4173e4) out of 5 stars Great Book, Lousy Kindle Formatting Sept. 12 2010
By C. Jensen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A for content, D for formatting.

This is not really a book, but rather several articles about fasting by Upton Sinclair, and selected reader responses along with letters asking for Sinclair's help re. fasting, by readers. Also included is a poignant letter (a short slice of life story in itself) and answers to a kind of survey Sinclair sent to some of the folks he helped.

Sinclair was both very deeply interested in fasting due to his own issues and later because he realized how important it could be to the ill. He read, corresponded with the few doctors who utilized fasting as part of their practices and acquired information where ever possible and disseminated it through his 2 articles and to the many people who daily asked him for help via the mail because of them. (I think he said he got anywhere from one letter to a dozen per day for years).

Sinclair's opinions and thoughts at the time of the compilation are interspersed throughout the material.

I found the book very useful, well written and friendly. Sinclair's attitude (and positive approach vis-a-vis all the negative or non responsiveness from the medical community) instilled a grateful feeling in me. His words encouraged me to go on with a fast that I was bordering on stopping (up to this point I'd not read very much on the topic).

If you're interested in or planning a fast, get this book. It is not scientific, it is better. It is well researched considering the means in 1915-ish, and very believable. (As to a scientific study, I haven't found any). If this book doesn't encourage you to fast, nothing will.

As to the formatting on the Kin- dle. This paragraph serves as an example of the kind of formatting Chapter 2 errors most if not all pages cont- ain. It's very bad. It contains a TOC of sorts, but it does not work as it should. It's too hard to expl- ain what exactly it does do. The book is readable, so if you're in a hur Part2 ry to get it, go for it. Otherwise, the paper version is much better.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9a4173cc) out of 5 stars Wonderful Book of Knowledge and Experience Jan. 23 2011
By B. Veracruz - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I just finished Mr. Sinclair's book and absolutely love the book. As another reviewer stated the e-book's organization is definitely lacking(that is due to the method it was transcribed from print to digital), but the content in my opinion is amazing.

The book gives Mr. Sinclair's experience with fasting as well as MANY testimonies from letters he received from people who tried fasting and ended up with fantastic results. Results such as cures for a great number of diseases and ailments including cancer. Mr. Sinclair gives general outlines for fasting but attests that every person is biologically a little different and results vary from one person to the next. I must add that 99% of the results are positive and the negative results seem to be from people who did not fast correctly or came off the fast incorrectly. In coming off the fast one must be careful.

I myself am on my second day of fasting and feel really well. I have been fortunate enough to not be plagued with the ravenous hunger some of the testimonies within the book mentioned. I have lost a few pounds but that was just a side purpose to my fast. Basically I am sick and tired of being sick and tired as the saying goes.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9a417498) out of 5 stars Death to the Money Trust Sept. 13 2012
By Scrapple8 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The Moneychangers is Upton Sinclair's indictment of the national economy, particularly the events that caused the Panic of 1907. His book, along with calls from other reformers, almost certainly impacted the Pujo hearings of 1912, where the House Banking and Currency Committee investigated the Money Trust. One of the big issues of the 1912 Presidential Election was the reform of trusts, which were seen in the novel as corrupt and controlled by a few powerful men, led by the all-powerful Wall Street financier, J. Pierpont Morgan. The New Nationalism of Theodore Roosevelt and the New Freedom of Woodrow Wilson were similar, with one big difference on how trusts were viewed. Roosevelt wanted the government to control bad trusts and monitor good trusts while protecting the rights of workers and consumers, while Wilson wanted all trusts broken up to promote competition. Wilson and Roosevelt did agree in using strong executive leadership, and promoting Initiative, Referendum, and Recall to induce more involved citizen participation in government.

The third candidate, Republican Incumbent William Howard Taft, had angered Roosevelt after being his hand-picked successor to the presidency in 1908. The popular Roosevelt regretted his 1904 campaign promise that he would not run again in 1908, but Taft seemed a reasonable choice. Taft then fired Gifford Pinchot, Roosevelt's trusted ally in issues of conservation, shortly after his election. Taft also abrogated an agreement that Roosevelt made with J.P. Morgan: that Morgan's U.S. Steel Corporation could gobble up the Tennessee Coal & Iron Company, a prize normally unavailable to him for anti-trust reasons, for saving a speculative brokerage firm whose failure would have caused huge financial ripples in an already faltering economy. The Taft administration prosecuted U.S Steel for a violation of anti-trust clauses. Of course, Taft had to deal with the public outcry when this bargain with J.P. Morgan was exposed, while Roosevelt was insulated from the criticism, in Africa for his widely-promoted safari.

Upton Sinclair exposed this deal in the Moneychangers, changing the name of the participants enough to avoid a libel suit while keeping the facts similar enough to real life so that the public understood Sinclair was making a statement against the Money Trust - and actually, all trusts in general. Dan Waterman had a lot in common with J.P. Morgan, an active Episcopalian church officer, and an avid collector of the arts who also owned a lavish yacht named the Corsair. Morgan was a married man with several mistresses, including the famous actress Maxine Elliot, and possibly his librarian Belle de Coste Greene. In his book about the Morgan empire, Ron Chernow mentioned that Greene was discrete about her affairs so as not to anger a jealous J.P. Morgan.

The stock market crash of October 21-25, 1907 occurred when an attempt to corner the United Copper market failed, and its stock price fell. Alarmed depositors of the Knickerbocker Trust Company, whose president was associated with speculators trying to corner the market of United Copper, began a run on the bank which could not be sustained. When Knickerbocker Trust failed, other trusts, such as the Trust Company of America, were on the edge of financial collapse. In the Moneychangers, the failure of the Gotham Trust Company set off a run on the Trust Company of the Republic.

The famous steel magnet Andrew Carnegie and his assistant at the Homestead Works, Harry Frick, are also represented by fictional doppelgangers. Their famous story occurred in 1891, when Carnegie left the country for his annual trip to his homeland of Scotland, leaving Frick in charge when the labor contract at the Homestead Works was about to expire. Carnegie had modernized the equipment at Homestead, which no longer required skilled workers at the plant, and the salaries that they demanded. Carnegie let Frick handle his upcoming labor contract, which called for cuts in wages that the strong union at Homestead would not accept.

Before the workers could strike, Frick declared a lockout, but workers still managed to occupy the Homestead plant. A platoon of Pinkerton security guards were sent to break-up the strike, but their efforts failed. A boat was arranged to gain access to the plant via the river adjacent to it, but the employees prevented any sort of amphibious operation. They even pushed barges of explosives toward the Pinkerton boats in an attempt to remove the threat suddenly. The Pinkertons finally surrendered, but the frustrated workers indiscriminately killed some of the Pinkertons after their surrender.

An anarchist named Alexander Berkman, boyfriend of radical Emma Goldman (Emma the Red), tried to kill Frick. His assassination attempt failed. Carnegie earned millions more in the steel industry until he sold out to J. Pierpont Morgan for a staggering amount - which Morgan admitted was not the full amount he was willing to pay for Carnegie's business. Carnegie then became a notable donor of libraries and other cultural institutions across America.

The Ice King mentioned in the story is probably Charles Morse, who was involved in the attempted corner of the copper trust by Otto Heinze. One can also see some of Rockefeller in Jim Hegan, the railroad magnate that Montague went to see about selling Lucy's shares in the Northern Mississippi Railroad. Hegan's daughter, who was involved in many charitable causes, had a lot in common with Anne Morgan, the daughter of Pierpont. Unfortunately, Anne would have been a poor match for Allen Montague, considering that she liked girls. Charles T. Barney was the president of Knickerbocker trust. Elements of Barney can be seen in Stanley Ryder, the president of the Gotham Trust who is more than a minor character in the Moneychangers.

Sinclair's story isn't meant to be an actual account of the Panic of 1907. Personal vendettas did play into business decisions, but probably not here. Morgan did lose over $20 million from his efforts to stop the Panic of 1907, so there was some altruism at play in his actions. Of course, his businesses relied on a strong economy, so Morgan's altruism had a motive. People were probably angrier about his purchase of government bonds during the Cleveland administration. The Panic of 1893 was caused by a run on gold, and the Cleveland administration had to sell 4 waves of government bonds, payable in gold, to shore up dangerously low reserves. The level of reserves dropped so quickly after the second issue of bonds that the Cleveland administration didn't have time to sell the third issue of bonds publicly. In fact, the day Morgan bought the bonds, the New York Federal Reserve branch had less than $10 million in gold in its holdings, and a check for $10 million was said to be outstanding and ready to be cashed. Grover Cleveland was forced to act with alacrity. Public scorn occurred after Morgan bought the bonds for 103-1/2 but sold them over 110. In fact, the bonds were trading at 120 shortly afterwards in the secondary market.

The Aldrich commission, established to investigate the Panic of 1907, recommended the creation of a central bank. After the Pujo hearings of 1912, Congress did organize the Federal Reserve Act to create a national bank to handle liquidity issues and maintain the money supply. President Wilson promptly signed the bill. The Clayton Antitrust Act of 1914 was passed to give the government extra power to break up trusts. Books such as The Moneychangers convinced the public that Woodrow Wilson's position, that all trusts were bad, was better than Theodore Roosevelt's position, that some trusts were bad. While the connection isn't as direct as with Sinclair's book, the Jungle, and the Meat Packing Acts of 1906, the Moneychangers did affect public policy. It is another one of Sinclair's recommended works.


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