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Devil Take the Hindmost is a lively, original, and challenging history of stock market speculation from the seventeenth century to the present day. Edward Chancellor traces the origins of the speculative spirit back to ancient Rome and chronicles its revival in the modern world: from the tulip scandal of 1630s Holland, to "stockjobbing" in London's Exchange Alley (where wine sold at auction by an "inch of a candle"), to the infamous South Sea Bubble of 1719, which prompted investor Sir Isaac Newton to comment, "I can calculate the motion of heavenly bodies, but not the madness of people". Here are brokers underwriting risks that included highway robbery and the "assurance of female chastity"; credit notes and lottery tickets circulating as money; wise and unwise investors from Alexander Pope and Benjamin Disraeli to Ivan Boesky and Hillary Rodham Clinton.

From the Gilded Age to the Roaring Twenties, from the railway mania of nineteenth-century America to the crash of 1929, from junk bonds and the Japanese bubble economy to day-traders of the Information Era, Devil Take the Hindmost tells a fascinating story of human dreams and folly through the ages.

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About the Author

Edward Chancellor studied history in Great Britain at both Cambridge and Oxford Universities. In the early 1990s he worked for the investment bank Lazard Brothers. He is a freelance journalist, and lives in London.

Reviews

"The subtle ways in which individual investors become drawn into crowd behavior is a much studied phenomenon, covered brilliantly... in the book Devil Take the Hindmost."--The Daily Telegraph (London) "The South Sea Company is one of the great bubble and crash stories. Many books have referred to it. One of the finest is Devil Take the Hindmost."--Debashis Basu, Money Life "Excellent."--City A.M. "[An] essential history of financial manias."--The Observer "A lively history of speculative manias and bubbles by a British banker turned writer."--Susan Adams, Forbes The subtle ways in which individual investors become drawn into crowd behavior is a much studied phenomenon, covered brilliantly in the book Devil Take the Hindmost. The Daily Telegraph (London) The South Sea Company is one of the great bubble and crash stories. Many books have referred to it. One of the finest is Devil Take the Hindmost. Debashis Basu, Money Life Excellent. City A.M. [An]essential history of financial manias. The Observer A lively history of speculative manias and bubbles by a British banker turned writer. Susan Adams, Forbes" "The greatest hits of financial silliness recounted coherently and...gracefully...Chancellor does a fine job of capturing the atmosphere of the times".-- Fortune magazine

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