In the early part of the twentieth century, Upton Sinclair earned a reputation as a prolific writer, committed socialist, and political activist. He gained enormous popularity when his eloquent 1906 novel The Jungle exposed conditions in the U.S. meat-packing industry, and years later, he earned a Pulitzer Prize for his series tale, Dragon’s Teeth. In The Money Changers, Sinclair explores the Wall Street panic of 1907 in novel form, exposing greed and corruption within the American system. Published in 1908, it is a cautionary tale with a theme that could have been ripped from today’s headlines.
Allan Montague is a prosperous New York lawyer trying to help an old friend from Mississippi who’s just moved to the city. Young widow Lucy Dupree, whose beauty makes men’s hearts skip a beat, is eager to move forward and establish herself in the right social circles. As a favor, Montague offers to help Lucy sell a block of stock. But with that one transaction, they unwittingly become tangled in a web of unscrupulous power brokers who’ve concocted a daring scheme to manipulate the stock market for personal gain. If their plan succeeds, a rival trust company will fall, sparking a Wall Street bloodbath and financial chaos throughout the world!
Dover Publications, 2009 (1938)