Long overlooked in histories of finance, women played an essential role in areas such as banking and the stock market during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Yet their presence sparked ongoing controversy. Hetty Green's golden touch brought her millions, but she outraged critics with her rejection of domesticity. Progressives like Victoria Woodhull, meanwhile, saw financial acumen as more important for women than the vote. George Robb's pioneering study sheds a light on the financial methods, accomplishments, and careers of three generations of women. Plumbing sources from stock brokers' ledgers to media coverage, Robb reveals the many ways women invested their capital while exploring their differing sources of information, approaches to finance, interactions with markets, and levels of expertise. He also rediscovers the forgotten women bankers, brokers, and speculators who blazed new trails--and sparked public outcries over women's unsuitability for the predatory rough-and-tumble of market capitalism. Entertaining and vivid with details, Ladies of the Ticker sheds light on the trailblazers who transformed Wall Street into a place for women's work.~Goodreads Blurb
Since Occupy Wall Street has faded from our headlines and rarely do we mention the 99 vs the 1 percent, it was surprising to me how I had never noticed the role that the stock market and women’s role in investing had made in my life. Coming from a Conservative turned Independant background, I knew that I had always been suspicious of self made millionaires of the stock market. I always pictured them as men in ties with oily hair and too bright teeth. Men who gargle with Red Bull and shout into phones all day.
I suppose I never really thought about why the image in my head was always of men doing the job. Reading through this book “Ladies of the Ticker” I was brought up short by how much the past still affected the present and how we view gender roles in our stereotypes. It was very entertaining to see the women who busted those stereotypes but more enjoyable were the women who used the stereotypes against society.
This book is a bit heavy on the details and I would have enjoyed more human interest stories to balance out the straight facts. This would have made it longer and it would have felt more complete to me. As it is I feel as though there is more to learn and yet I am not sure of what direction to take. I would recommend this book to those who enjoy nonfiction and have an interest in women’s history.
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