A Disposition to Be Rich: How a Small-Town Pastor's Son Ruined an American President, Brought on a Wall Street Crash, and Made Himself the Best-Hated Man in the United States

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Pub. Date:
2012
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English
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Ferdinand Ward was the greatest swindler of the Gilded Age. Through his unapologetic villainy, he bankrupted Ulysses S. Grant and ran roughshod over the entire world of finance. Now, his compelling, behind-the-scenes story is told—told by his great-grandson, award-winning historian Geoffrey C. Ward.Ward was the Bernie Madoff of his day, a supposed genius at making big money fast on Wall Street who turned out to have been running a giant pyramid scheme—one that ultimately collapsed in one of the greatest financial scandals in American history. The son of a Protestant missionary and small-town pastor with secrets of his own to keep, Ward came to New York at twenty-one and in less than a decade, armed with charm, energy, and a total lack of conscience, made himself the business partner of the former president of the United States and was widely hailed as the “Young Napoleon of Finance.” In truth, he turned out to be a complete fraud, his entire life marked by dishonesty, cowardice, and contempt for anything but his own interests.Drawing from thousands of family documents never before examined, Geoffrey C. Ward traces his great-grandfather’s rapid rise to riches and fame and his even more dizzying fall from grace. There are mistresses and mansions along the way; fast horses and crooked bankers and corrupt New York officials; courtroom confrontations and six years in Sing Sing; and Ferdinand’s desperate scheme to kidnap his own son to get his hands on the estate his late wife had left the boy. Here is a great story about a classic American con artist, told with boundless charm and dry wit by one of our finest historians.

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ISBN:
9781452625393
9780307959447
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Grouped Work ID a880b4b9-fd69-8dd8-b2be-9a1decfd0686
Grouping Title disposition to be rich how a small town pastors son ruined an american president brought on a wall s
Grouping Author ward geoffrey c
Grouping Category book
Last Grouping Update 2018-10-17 04:48:12AM
Last Indexed 2018-10-17 04:51:32AM

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author Geoffrey C. Ward
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Ferdinand Ward was the greatest swindler of the Gilded Age. Throughhis unapologetic villainy, he bankrupted Ulysses S. Grant and ran roughshod over the entire world of finance. Now, his compelling, behind-the-scenes story is told--told by his great-grandson, award-winning historian Geoffrey C. Ward.
Ward was the Bernie Madoff of his day, a supposed genius at making big money fast on Wall Street who turned out to have been running a giant pyramid scheme--one that ultimately collapsed in one of the greatest financial scandals in American history. The son of a Protestant missionary and small-town pastor with secrets of his own to keep, Ward came to New York at twenty-one and in less than a decade, armed with charm, energy, and a total lack of conscience, made himself the business partner of the former president of the United States and was widely hailed as the "Young Napoleon of Finance." In truth, he turned out to be a complete fraud, his entire life marked by dishonesty, cowardice, and contempt for anything but his own interests.
Drawing from thousands of family documents never before examined, Geoffrey C. Ward traces his great-grandfather's rapid rise to riches and fame and his even more dizzying fall from grace. There are mistresses and mansions along the way; fast horses and crooked bankers and corrupt New York officials; courtroom confrontations and six years in Sing Sing; and Ferdinand's desperate scheme to kidnap his own son to get his hands on the estate his late wife had left the boy. Here is a great story about a classic American con artist, told with boundless charm and dry wit by one of our finest historians.

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title_display A Disposition to Be Rich
title_full A Disposition to Be Rich How a Small-Town Pastor's Son Ruined an American President, Brought on a Wall Street Crash, and Made Himself the Best-Hated Man in the United States
title_short A Disposition to Be Rich
title_sub How a Small-Town Pastor's Son Ruined an American President, Brought on a Wall Street Crash, and Made Himself the Best-Hated Man in the United States
topic_facet Biography & Autobiography, Business, History, Nonfiction