From the new book The Panic of 1907, about the great banking panic of 1907, by Robert Bruner and Sean Carr, page 2 (!):
To understand fully the crash and panic of 1907, one must consider its context.
A Republican moralist was in the White House.
War was fresh in mind.
Immigration was fueling dramatic changes in society.
New technologies were changing people’s everyday lives.
Business consolidators and their Wall Street advisers were creating large, new combinations through mergers and acquisitions, while the government was investigating and prosecuting prominent executives — led by an aggressive young prosecutor from New York.
The public’s attitude toward business leaders, fueled by a muckraking press, was largely negative.
The government itself was becoming increasingly interventionist in society and, in some ways, more intrusive in individual life.
Much of this was stimulated by a postwar economic expansion that, with brief interruptions, had lasted about 50 years.
Bring, then, a sense of irony informed by the present to an understanding of 1907.