Cover: When Wall Street Met Main Street: The Quest for an Investors' Democracy, from Harvard University PressCover: When Wall Street Met Main Street in PAPERBACK

When Wall Street Met Main Street

The Quest for an Investors' Democracy

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Product Details


$30.00 • £24.95 • €27.00

ISBN 9780674417021

Publication Date: 09/01/2014


352 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches


Ott’s account is superb, full of subtle insights and surprising interactions between state actors in desperate need of finance, financiers in desperate need of political legitimacy, and a wide range of private citizens and civil society actors—women’s groups, even labor unions—caught in between.—Jonathan Levy, Public Culture

Julia Ott has written an informative and insightful study of a surprisingly neglected topic… This brief account cannot do justice to the rich texture of Ott’s argument, which contains a wealth of detail, impressive depth of research, and cogent analysis… Ott has done anyone interested in the history of finance a great service.—Maury Klein, Business History Review

This is a sterling piece of scholarship.—Jim Cullen, History News Network

Ott’s stunning book provides much needed history to a modern America that takes mutual funds, 401ks, and stock options for granted. With imaginative research, sophisticated analysis, and engaging writing, Ott astutely reveals the benefits and costs of becoming a nation of stockholders.—Lizabeth Cohen, author of A Consumers’ Republic

An excellent and pathbreaking analysis of the struggle to find in ‘shareholder democracy’ a remedy for the inequality and social and political discontent that has troubled American society since the industrial revolution began.—Steve Fraser, author of Every Man a Speculator

In the twenty-first century the savings of Americans are highly dependent on returns from stock market investments that are buffeted by speculation and subject to manipulation by insiders. In this timely and outstanding book, Ott documents how Americans were initially lured into this dependence and provides key insights for understanding why.—William Lazonick, author of Sustainable Prosperity in the New Economy?

A brilliant examination of the origins of our investors’ democracy. Ott reveals how participation in financial markets became the embodiment of citizenship. Beautifully written and rigorously researched, she makes clear that our contemporary entanglement with finance is nothing new.—Stephen Mihm, author of A Nation of Counterfeiters

Julia Ott has written an important book for our times, after a financial crisis has us wondering if our financial markets, in their current form, really promote individual well-being as they should. We have to learn from the past, and invent a new and better capitalism for the future.—Robert Shiller, author of Irrational Exuberance

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