An eye-opening examination of the many ways money can be made—and disappear.

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A HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES IN FIVE CRASHES

STOCK MARKET MELTDOWNS THAT DEFINED A NATION

Can we time the market? No, but this timely book by an investment executive and CNBC contributor gives some idea of how various the triggers for its collapse can be.

The five market crashes Nations (The Complete Book of Option Spreads and Combinations, 2014, etc.) chronicles are comparatively recent, the first from 1907, the last from 2010. This lifts some of the predictive power from the author’s argument, since the so-called panic of 1893 was easily as severe as any of its successors, while some of the crashes of the early republican era were similarly devastating. Even so, the overarching points are valuable. Nations points out that investment in the market is key in moving the economy forward and that it has indeed led to individual enrichment; he notes that a dollar invested in 1899 would have been worth nearly $157 at the time of the 2010 hiccup. However, he adds, had we not experienced the ruinous crash of 1907, the whole package would have been worth another $45 or so, and if we had been able to avoid the five worst days of the ever cresting and falling cycle, then that dollar would have been worth $319.24. Nations describes some of the mechanisms for these moments of free fall, ranging from malfeasance in the market to technical glitches in our increasingly prevalent computer-driven trades. Interestingly, some of the market crashes, by the author’s account, were set in motion by the government’s doing the right thing in restraining monopoly, short trades, and other examples of the free market gone bad. Do what we will to avoid them, though, crashes are a function of that market and the people who participate in them, fiscal evidence of uncertainty and fear. As Nations also writes, though the climb back can be agonizingly slow, the market eventually recovers. In an account with more villains than heroes, indifferently written but full of useful object lessons, Nations concludes with the warning that for all that, “it will crash again.”

An eye-opening examination of the many ways money can be made—and disappear.

Pub Date: June 13, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-06-246727-0

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: April 18, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2017

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

NIGHT

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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A PEOPLE'S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES

For Howard Zinn, long-time civil rights and anti-war activist, history and ideology have a lot in common. Since he thinks that everything is in someone's interest, the historian—Zinn posits—has to figure out whose interests he or she is defining/defending/reconstructing (hence one of his previous books, The Politics of History). Zinn has no doubts about where he stands in this "people's history": "it is a history disrespectful of governments and respectful of people's movements of resistance." So what we get here, instead of the usual survey of wars, presidents, and institutions, is a survey of the usual rebellions, strikes, and protest movements. Zinn starts out by depicting the arrival of Columbus in North America from the standpoint of the Indians (which amounts to their standpoint as constructed from the observations of the Europeans); and, after easily establishing the cultural disharmony that ensued, he goes on to the importation of slaves into the colonies. Add the laborers and indentured servants that followed, plus women and later immigrants, and you have Zinn's amorphous constituency. To hear Zinn tell it, all anyone did in America at any time was to oppress or be oppressed; and so he obscures as much as his hated mainstream historical foes do—only in Zinn's case there is that absurd presumption that virtually everything that came to pass was the work of ruling-class planning: this amounts to one great indictment for conspiracy. Despite surface similarities, this is not a social history, since we get no sense of the fabric of life. Instead of negating the one-sided histories he detests, Zinn has merely reversed the image; the distortion remains.

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1979

ISBN: 0061965588

Page Count: 772

Publisher: Harper & Row

Review Posted Online: May 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1979

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