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This author had an amazing ringside seat (and often, very important participation) in decades of Washington and Wall Street events of the latter 1800s. It helps to have some knowledge of the overall history and characters (from General/President Grant to Cooke, Gould, etc.). I greatly enjoy the older language style. Many events are described, in the fashion of the time, by reference to classical, Biblical, or Shakespearean scenes. But what emerges most pleasingly to me are the many stretches of tongue-in-cheek, satirical description, so wonderfully sheathed and understated. The true but often hidden intentions and aims of the characters are thus wittily and a little caustically displayed. I only wish this included the full length of the original, I am told was over 1,000 pages in length. A vivid sample: the author is in Washington as the Civil War looms, helping its financing, and sees massive shipments of cannons rolling by, realizing this will be a long difficult struggle. This, in turn, affects his own choices in the markets, and advice to the parties he owes it to. Many a character is introduced with just enough anecdotal detail to bring the person to life, and many capsule biographies are presented. But the story moves along well.
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