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Greg Steinmetz with American Rascal: How Jay Gould Built Wall Street's Biggest Fortune

Author Event
March 21, 2024 6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. ET

Jay Gould was one of the greatest of the 19th-century robber barons – his brilliance, greed, and bare-knuckled tactics made him richer than Rockefeller and led Wall Street to institute its first financial reforms. Author Greg Steinmetz and New York historian Esther Crain will bring to life this Gilded Age magnate and his era.  
One of the Gilded Age’s most complex and quirky characters, Jay Gould was praised for his brilliance by John D. Rockefeller and Cornelius Vanderbilt, yet he was condemned by Mark Twain for forever destroying American business values. He lived a colorful life, trading jokes with Thomas Edison, paying Boss Tweed’s bail, and commuting to work in a 200-foot yacht.  The son of a poor farmer whose early life was marked by tragedy, Gould saw money as the means to give his family a better life; and he thrived in an expanding, industrial economy in which authorities tolerated insider trading and stock price manipulation. In American Rascal we learn how he took these practices to new levels, pulling “a fast one” on nearly everyone. Join author Greg Steinmetz and moderator Esther Crain in exploring his remarkable life, Steinmetz’s “gripping biography” (Fortune), and the glittering Gilded Age era."

Greg Steinmetz is a partner at a money management firm in New York. He previously worked for The Wall Street Journal, where he covered investment banking before becoming Berlin Bureau Chief and then London Bureau Chief. His first book, The Richest Man Who Ever Lived: The Life and Times of Jacob Fugger, was heralded by Andrew Ross Sorkin as one of the best reads of 2015.

Esther Crain is the author of The Gilded Age in New York, 1870-1910 and New York City in 3D in the Gilded Age. In 2008 she launched Ephemeral New York, a website that chronicles the city's past. She speaks regularly on topics relating to New York City history, especially during the Gilded Age, and conducts walking tours that explore New York's hidden pockets and little-known stories.

Special Thanks to Sponsor Welch & Forbes Private Wealth Management


Links from the Live Event

Order signed copies of "American Rascal" from Porter Square Books: Input the code AMINSP24 so they know you should get a signed copy, sent anywhere in the U.S. 


To learn more about New York City, visit Esther Crain's Ephemeral New York Website:


Esther Crain's latest book The Gilded Age in New York: