Edward Chancellor, an Oxford educated historian and contributor to the Financial Times and the Economist, provides a riveting journey through the history of financial speculations and the ensuing panic when the bubble bursts. Although the author traces the first financial bubble back to ancient Rome, he concentrates mainly on the most notable events such as the Dutch Tulipomania, the South Sea Bubble, the Gilded Age, the 1929 Crash, and Japan's "bubble economy." Not only does Chancellor write about the financial aspects surrounding the various speculations, but he also includes the social and political events that had an effect on the people involved. By using the history of these past speculative markets, the author provides a lens through which the present day stock market can be viewed.
The Internet stocks of the 1990s have lifted the stock market to unimaginable heights. Is this a financial bubble or isn't it? To formulate a reasonable answer to this question Devil Take the Hindmost is a must read.
Reviewed by sc, 01/00. Other reviews by sc.