Book Review: Taming the Street by Diana B. Henriques

“Success in this political struggle was far from certain for  FDR and his New Deal allies, who included the political dynasty builder Joseph P. Kennedy and the future Supreme Court justice William O. Douglas. Wall Street’s old guard, led by New York Stock Exchange president Richard Whitney, fought every new rule to the “last legal ditch.” That clash—between two sharply different visions of financial power and federal responsibility—has shaped how “other people’s money” is managed in the United States to this day.”

Goodreads blurb for Taming the Street

Title: Taming the Street: The Old Guard, the New Deal, and FDR’s Fight to Regulate American Capitalism
Author: Diana B. Henriques
Genres: Non-fiction, History, Politics
Pages: 464 (Hardcover)
Publish Date: September 12th, 2023

My Rating: ★★★★
Read: 8/8/2023 – 8/26/2023


Since I was a kid, I’ve always had an interest in the Great Depression (thanks American Girl!). Over the years I’ve collected bits and pieces of it through different media and my own research. Aside from other books about Franklin Delano Roosevelt which speak a lot about the Great Depression, I haven’t read any books solely dedicated to the topic before now. 

The book predominantly follows the roles of FDR and Joseph P. Kennedy at the time of the 1929 stock market crash and its aftermath. When FDR was elected as president of the United States in 1932, he vowed to amend the way the country handled finance. Thus, the New Deal was born. 

Though I found the writing strong and engaging enough, this is the kind of book I would have enjoyed more as an audiobook. The topic is interesting, just long (as it should be). I learned a lot, so for that reason, I was glad to be able to save highlights. It’s a great addition to any history nerd’s library. 

A huge thanks to Random House for inviting me to read the digital ARC through NetGalley! 

Likes & Dislikes:

What I liked:

  • Well-researched.
  • Maintained a good pace.

What I didn’t like:

  • Despite the good pace, some parts felt dragged out for the sake of a higher page count.


FDR continues to fascinate me. I wouldn’t say he’s overlooked in American History, but I don’t think people always appreciate what a standout he was as an American politician.

Where to buy the book:

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