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The Dark Genius of Wall Street: The Misunderstood Life of Jay Gould, King of the Robber Barons by Edward J. Renehan Jr.

Jay Gould, The Dark Genius of Wall Street, is generally considered to be the worst of the robber barons who flourished during the period of unbridled capitalism after the Civil War. Like John D. Rockefeller, Cornelius Vanderbilt, and John Jacob Astor, he used any financial gimmick, insider trading, bribery, lies, trickery, and coercion to achieve his means. While the others were considered to have added to the nation's prosperity while building their own wealth, Gould was seen as a dark and humorless man whose actions served to line only his own pockets. His attempt to corner the gold market resulted in a financial panic. Edward J. Renehan Jr. attempts to refurbish his image and place in history, showing him as a faithful and loving family man, dedicated to some of his employees, a finanical genius who manipulated the stock market, and a businessman who combined failing businesses into a successful empire. Renehan also provides detailed accounts of the battles between Gould and the other robber barons. The Dark Genius of Wall Street has received mostly positive reviews with the Washington Post saying, "If Renehan doesn't wholly succeed in persuading us that Jay Gould was an upstanding industrialist, his vivid account makes it clear that the rapacious financial practices of the Gilded Age were not invented by one brilliant buccaneer."
Buy The Dark Genius of Wall Street by Edward J. Renehan Jr.


New York Times review by William Grimes

Washington Post review by Wendy Smith

San Diego Union-Tribune review by Bruce V. Bigelow

New York Times review by Joseph Nocera

Edward J. Renehan Jr.
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