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Once in Golconda: A True Drama of Wall Street 1920-1938


In this book, John Brooks—who was one of the most elegant of all business writers—perfectly catches the flavor of one of history's best-known financial dramas: the 1929 crash and its aftershocks. It's packed with parallels and parables for the modern reader. —Richard Lambert Editor-in-Chief, The Financial Times Praise for Once in Golconda "A fast-moving, sophisticated account … embracing the stock-market boom of the twenties, the crash of 1929, the Depression, and the coming of the New Deal. Its leitmotif is the truly tragic personal history of Richard Whitney, the aristocrat Morgan broker and head of the Stock Exchange, who ended up in Sing Sing." —Edmund Wilson, writing in the New Yorker "As Mr. Brooks tells this tale of dishonor, desperation, and the fall of the mighty, it takes on overtones of Greek tragedy, a king brought down by pride. Whitney's sordid history has been told before.… But in Mr. Brooks's hands, the drama becomes freshly shocking." —Wall Street Journal "It's all there in Once in Golconda: the avarice of an era that favored the rich; and the later anguish of myriads of speculators doomed by a bloated market, easy credit, and their own cupidity and stupidity. The book, which is great reading, has a real message, especially for a generation of speculators that know neither the pangs and privations of a depression nor of blue chip stocks that drop fifty points in a single day's trading." —Saturday Review "Mr. Brooks has convinced me, absolutely, that Richard Whitney ranks in the highest pantheon of American symbols—like Lincoln and Bryan and Melville and Hemingway and Yellow Kid Weft, Buffalo Bill, and Horatio Alger … and even Babe Ruth. In him, the upper-class con crested—and America's last chance to do it right the first time ended." —Harper's

JOHN BROOKS was an award-winning New Yorker staff writer and author of several critically acclaimed explorations of business and Wall Street. Besides Once in Golconda, these include The Go-Go Years (Wiley), The Games Players, Business Adventures, and The Fate of the Edsel. Yale Law Journal said of him, "John Brooks . may well be the best historian of high and low finance since . Charles Francis Adams and his brother Henry chronicled the rascalities of Jim Fisk, Jay Gould, Daniel Drew, and Cornelius Vanderbilt more than a century ago."
Overture: The Outrage.

Ticker Tyranny.

The Almost Aristocracy.

So Near the Apes.

Things Fall Apart.

Enter the White Knight.

Gold Standard on the Booze.

Ordeal in Washington.

The White Knight Unhorsed.

Rising Action.