This is a book written by a finance guy for finance guys. Richard Dale offers a history of the South Sea Bubble of 1721 that is heavy on the details of the South Sea scheme and the context of early 18th century finance. His knowledge is impressive, but all too often his narrative suffers from overly technical explanations that suggest his audience is not so much the general reader but the industry professional -- a perception further underscored by his effort to relate it to the "dot.com" (dot-dot-com?) bubble that had occurred just a few years before his book was published. Given the housing bubble that burst just a couple of years later, it seems as though his book didn't reach its intended audience.