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Capital of Capital: Money, Banking, and Power in New York City, 1784-2012

Steven H. Jaffe and Jessica Lautin

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May, 2014
Cloth, 304 pages, 150 illustrations
ISBN: 978-0-231-16910-3
$45.00

From Revolutionary Era bank notes to the 2008 financial collapse, Capital of Capital explores how New York City gave rise to a banking industry that in turn made the American and world economies. Capital of Capital also examines the frequently contentious evolution of the banking business, its role in making New York City an international economic center, and its influence on America’s politics, society, and culture.

Based on a major exhibition at the Museum of the City of New York, Capital of Capital features the key leaders of banking, including Alexander Hamilton and J. P. Morgan, as well as its critics, such as Louis Brandeis and the Occupy Wall Street protesters. The book also covers the major events and controversies that have shaped the history of banking and includes a fascinating array of primary materials ranging from antebellum bank notes and ledgers to early credit cards and advertisements. Lavishly illustrated, Capital of Capital provides a multifaceted, original understanding of the profound impact of banking on the life of New York City and the world’s economy.

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About the Author

Steven H. Jaffe is a writer and historian who received his Ph.D. in history from Harvard University and has worked at the Museum of the City of New York, the New-York Historical Society, and the South Street Seaport Museum. He is the author of New York at War: Four Centuries of Combat, Fear, and Intrigue in Gotham.

Jessica Lautin is an assistant curator at the Museum of the City of New York, where she was part of the curatorial team for the exhibition on which the book is based and local curator of Designing Tomorrow: America’s World’s Fairs of the 1930s. She received her Ph.D. in history from the University of Pennsylvania.

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