Professor Sobel's fourteenth book in ten years on the market and its entrepreneurs seems to have been researched (or--better word--compiled) in the basement of the New York Stock Exchange itself. It is concerned with the Big Board's struggle for survival and volume from the post-Depression New Deal years to the current slump. Sobel traces the progression from the old Old Guard to the ""new old-timers"" to the bright-eyed money managers of the go-go years, focusing on the self-regulating SEC leadership. Personalities such as Joseph Kennedy, William O. Douglas and William McChesney Martin initiated the first changes and reforms in the private club of gentlemen brokers which to this day hasn't forgiven FDR for intervening in its affairs. During the People's Capitalism/Cold War years of the '50's, Keith Funston drew new money to the Street with the Monthly Investment Plan, later called mutual funds. Sobel documents the air of disbelief surrounding the Eisenhower boom, the subsequent back-office snarls of the '60's and the coming of automation, the house failures of the early '70's and the evolution of the Exchange's institutional power. On the unspeakable events of the mid-'70's, there's not much; and though Sobel describes the long and ongoing N.Y.S.E.-Third Market debate, he hedges the most significant question: should the N.Y.S.E., where seats run over half a million dollars in good times, where the leaders are P.R. men with an elitist ""code,"" where, after all, a regime of clubmen prevails--should the N.Y.S.E. exist at all?