This is the story of America's most famous street, Wall Street. No other place is so inextricably linked with the nation's history, the development of capitalism and the dramatic highs and lows of the financial markets. No other place has provoked such mythology, or has been the subject of so many dreams and illusions. Howard Wachtel's book provides a fascinating account of the origins of this famous street. Exploring its development through the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and into the twentieth century, he charts its dramatic transformation, offering a window on the past that helps us understand how it became the centre of world finance that we see today. Drawing on original archive research, and illustrated throughout with photographs, Street of Dreams - Boulevard of Broken Hearts is a lively and informative narrative that reads not only as a popular history of one of America's great icons, but also as a critical assessment of Wall Street's role in the political, economic and cultural evolution of the country.
Wachtel looks at the key characters -- both better-known and lesser-known -- who shaped the course of Wall Street's early years; he traces its wider social history and its physical development and architecture; he focuses on the New York Stock Exchange as the most important institution on the street, including a wider history of banking houses and competing exchanges; he explores how Wall Street has influenced politics, and how it has been shaped by larger political forces around it; and he examines its love-hate relationship with two other streets -- Pennsylvania Avenue and Main Street -- the forces of government and the people of America.
Howard Wachtel teaches in the Department of Economics at t The American University in Washington, DC. He is a Fellow of the Transnational Institute in Amsterdam and the author of numerous books and articles on economics.
Preface 1. The Big Bang: Alexander Hamilton And The Origins Of Wall Street 2. Lex Mercatoria 3. Jackson And The 1830s Bank War 4. The New Metropolis 5. Wall Street And The Civil War 6. Wars, Other Than Civil 7. Trustee Over The Nation's Economy 8. The American Century Bibliography Index