The recent debates in Congress about the proposed bailout of the financial industry have featured extended rhetoric about "Wall Street" and "Main Street."
In his new book, Wall Street: America's Dream Palace, Steve Fraser examines historical attitudes toward Wall Street, beginning with the first financial panic of 1792 and moving up to the dot-com bubble and bust. His book focuses on four of the financial world's archetypal characters — the aristocrat, the confidence man, the hero and the immoralist.
Fraser's other books include Labor Will Rule and Every Man A Speculator. A senior lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania, he has been published in The New York Time and The Los Angeles Times.