"IMMENSE FINANCIAL POWER… CONCENTRATED IN THE HANDS OF A FEW COMMANDING FINANCIERS": FIRST EDITION OF FREDERICK LEWIS ALLEN'S LORDS OF CREATION, PUBLISHED AT THE HEIGHT OF THE GREAT DEPRESSION
ALLEN, Frederick Lewis. The Lords of Creation. New York and London: Harper & Brothers, 1935. Octavo, original red cloth, original dust jacket. $4200.
First edition of Allen's classic 1935 economic history of the forces leading up to the Wall Street Crash and the Great Depression, expanding on Only Yesterday (1931), his popular history of the 1920s, in original dust jacket.
Frederick Lewis Allen was "the first good American writer to move boldly into the territory… between history and journalism." In Lords of Creation, he expansively "carries the narrative of Only Yesterday  back to the pre-WWI financial and social episodes" and forward into the New Deal. Allen vividly profiles leading Wall Street titans and details "the rapid growth of Standard Oil, the panic of 1907, the 'Money Trust investigation' of 1912 and Federal Reserve legislation… the general theme is the immense financial power which became concentrated in the hands of a few commanding financiers" (New York Times). Published in the midst of the Great Depression, Lords of Creation highlights the dangerous and unprecedented nature of debt in the 1920s that could not, he writes, "cure itself speedily through a succession of bankruptcies… the outside public looked on in mingled admiration and alarm… they watched with dismay the inroads being made on the domain of free competition." Stated "First Edition": first printing with code "I-K" on copyright page indicating publication in September 1935. With 16 pages of illustrations.
Book fine; light edge-wear and rubbing, faint marginal dampstaining to verso of scarce near-fine dust jacket.