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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

by Geoffrey C. Ward Author · Robertson Dean Narrator

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Ferdinand Ward was the Bernie Madoff of his generation-a supposed genius at making big money fast on Wall Street, who turned out to have been running a giant pyramid scheme 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 only with charm, energy, and a total lack of conscience, made himself the business partner of a 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 never-before-examined family documents, 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, 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. A Disposition to Be Rich is a great story about a classic American con artist, told with boundless charm and dry wit by one of our finest historians.

Publication Details

Publisher:
Tantor Media, Inc.
Imprint:
Tantor Audio
Edition:
Unabridged
Publication Date:
2012

Format

  • OverDrive MP3 Audiobook 391.5 MB
  • OverDrive Listen 390.8 MB

Geoffrey C. Ward (Author)

Geoffrey C. Ward is an author and screenwriter of various documentary presentations of American history. He wrote the television mini-series The Civil War with director Ken Burns and has authored or coauthored numerous books, including A First-Cla...

More about Geoffrey C. Ward
A Disposition to Be Rich
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