Six Days in October: The Stock Market Crash of 1929

Over six terrifying, desperate days in October 1929, the fabulous fortune that Americans had built in stocks plunged with a fervor never seen before. At first, the drop seemed like a mistake, a mere glitch in the system. But as the decline gathered steam, so did the destruction. Over twenty-five billion dollars in individual wealth was lost, vanished.

Here, “Wall Street Journal” bureau chief Karen Blumenthal chronicles the six-day period that brought the country to its knees, from fascinating tales of key stock-market players, like Michael J. Meehan, an immigrant who started his career hustling cigars outside theaters and helped convince thousands to gamble their hard-earned money as never before, to riveting accounts of the power struggles between Wall Street and Washington, to poignant stories from those who lost their savings — and more — to the allure of stocks and the power of greed.

For readers living in an era of stock-market fascination, this engrossing account explains stock-market fundamentals while bringing to life the darkest days of the mammoth crash of 1929.