‘America’s Richest Woman’ spotlights Wall Street influencer – The Ticker

The Richest Woman in America by Janet Wallach is a biography of the pioneering female business magnate Hetty Green, also known among journalists of the time as “The Witch of Wall Street”. The book follows two stories: that of Green’s life and that of the United States during it.

Wallach describes the factors that have led to every recession and expansion in Green’s life. Many of the same indicators can be seen during the busts and booms of the late 20th and 21st centuries.

The reader expects to learn about Green’s life, but will leave with much more. As he tells this witchcraft tale, Wallach paints a vivid picture of the United States in the Golden Age, describing major cities like New York City during multiple crises and booms that took place in the mid-to-late 18th and early 20th centuries.

Wallach describes the prosperity that swept through New York City, where people were tearing down old institutions to make way for new ones, and wrote “so frequently that Harper’s Magazine complained that the city for anyone born forty years ago , unrecognizable”.

The biography is suitable for those who want to get a glimpse of life in the United States after World War II in the form of an easy to understand story.

The author also draws parallels between Green and the saga of American business magnate Warren Buffett. Both have similar investment strategies — buy when everyone is selling and sell when everyone is buying — with Green saying, “Mind your pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves.”

Green is portrayed as a human who makes mistakes and is far from perfect.

Despite being a self-made billionaire — having inherited her aunt’s $2 million estate and a similar amount from her father — it can be argued that she goes beyond her greed to help improve the country. She is reported to provide low-interest loans to New York in times of crisis, uses her son to buy closed railroad tracks in Texas to improve and ease people’s travel, and donates large sums of money to charity, giving them one leaving most of their money behind.

Green was an advocate for women’s financial education. Although many of her beliefs were those of a “simple Quaker woman,” she believed women should know their finances, and even said she believed there was no reason why a woman could not be a wife, keep a home, and do business. Some of her other views on issues like the women’s suffrage movement and a female president weren’t as forward-thinking.

Green led an eventful life of tragedy, adventure, and hard work. It is admirable to see a woman do business with men in her time and do so well at it. The golden age is known as a time of great economic growth, and watching Green navigate those times while staying true to herself is something anyone who reads the book can apply to their own life.

Comments are closed.