THE DAY THE BUBBLE BURST by Gordon & Max Morgan-Witts Thomas


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A commemorative docu-drama with lots of juice and no meat. The Great Crash is patched together, in this reconstruction (one of several golden-jubilee recaps), from the doings, principally, of Wall Street ""bulls"" Meehan, Raskob, and Durant; ""bears"" Livermore and Kennedy; and bankers Mitchell, Giannini, and Morgan. Edging in are Mott of GM, the redoubtable Henry Ford, and an English comer, Clarence Hatry--while juxtaposed to all these powerhouses are the stories of the stock-crazed embezzlers at a Flint, Michigan, bank and of a Hungarian bootlegger's daughter whose trust account was looted. Plus: camoes featuring a Wall Street bootblack, a banker's chauffeur, a flapper with literary pretensions, and the mailman who delivered the checks that elated investors and the margin calls that ruined them. It's a staccato, gossipy chronicle: if the conversation at one trading post on the Exchange concerns the growth of Insull's utilities, at another the talk is about the new floating brokerage on the Berengaria, while at a third the big news is the birth of Jack Bouvier's daughter, Jackie. Just how reliable this information is, though, it's hard to tell without documentation. (Only in the Source Notes are we told that the word-for-word meeting between Billy Durant and President Hoover may never have taken place.) But, authentic or not, this is merely another of the authors' disaster epics (viz., Enola Gay, Guernica, Shipwreck) posing as a slice of historical life.

Pub Date: Sept. 28th, 1979
Publisher: Doubleday