The Exchange Artist by Jane Kamensky
A Tale of High-Flying Speculation and America's First Banking Collapse

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The riveting story of the country's first banking scandal in the first decades of the American republic

This enthralling historical narrative of the birth of speculative capitalism in America opens in the 1790s when financial pioneer-turned-confidence-man Andrew Dexter, Jr. created a pyramid scheme founded on real estate speculation and the greed of banks, who freely printed the paper money he needed to finance the then tallest building in the United States-the Exchange Coffee House, a 153-room, seven-story colossus in downtown Boston. The story of Dexter's rise and eventual collapse offered an object lesson to the rising young nation, and presents striking parallels to the subprime mortgage meltdown and looming economic collapse of today.


About Jane Kamensky

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Jane Kamensky teaches history at Brandeis University. She is the author of Governing the Tongue and The Colonial Mosaic.
Published January 24, 2008 by Penguin Books. 476 pages
Genres: Business & Economics, History. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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A striver who had Gilbert Stuart paint a portrait he couldn’t pay for, reckless and feckless Dexter triggered the young country’s first banking collapse in 1809.

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Entertainment Weekly

Today’s market troubles would hardly have fazed early 19th century banker-turned-con artist Andrew Dexter, Jr., whose fall from grace is the subject of Jane Kamensky’s meticulously researched history in The Exchange Artist.

Feb 08 2008 | Read Full Review of The Exchange Artist: A Tale o...

Review (Barnes & Noble)

Dexter financed this $500,000 project, completed in 1809, with banknotes printed by a series of rural banks that he controlled.

Jan 12 2009 | Read Full Review of The Exchange Artist: A Tale o...

Shelf Awareness

Before joining Houghton Mifflin in 2005 as a marketing manager, he was a bookseller at WordsWorth Books for more than 15 years and developed the independent bookstore besteller list that was a forerunner of the Book Sense bestseller lists.

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