Moneymakers: The Wicked Lives and Surprising Adventures of Three Notorious Counterfeiters by Ben Tarnoff



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Moneymakers: The Wicked Lives and Surprising Adventures of Three Notorious Counterfeiters by Ben Tarnoff

"What an ingenious idea for a book and what a rousing story! A truly gifted writer, Ben Tarnoff has brought to life three unforgettable characters while at the same time providing a window onto the tumultuous financial situation that characterized early American life."

– Doris Kearns Goodwin, author of Team of Rivals

"Ben Tarnoff captures the wild early years of America's financial system through a delightful angle: the escapades of three counterfeiters. It's a colorful tale but also an enlightening one. It helps us understand our financial culture back then—and even today."

– Walter Isaacson, author of Einstein: His Life and Universe and Benjamin Franklin: An American Life

"I've always had a soft spot in my heart for counterfeiters, ever since my father, a Secret Service agent, told me stories about how hard it was to catch them. Tarnoff tells the story of three colorful and almost lovable practitioners of the trade, in prose that is always accessible and sometimes downright lyrical. Along the way he drove me to the conclusion that all paper money is sorta fake. Tarnoff himself strikes me as the genuine article. I welcome his voice to that tiny chorus of writers who can make American history come alive without dumbing it down."

– Joseph J. Ellis, author of Founding Brothers and First Family: Abigail and John

"Ben Tarnoff's tales of financial skullduggery in early America are fascinating. Moneymakers is history as it should be written, brimming with the sort of vivid details that makes the past come alive."

– Liaquat Ahamed, author of Lords of Finance

"Lively and insightful, Moneymakers makes the most out of the entertaining tale of three master counterfeiters, using their careers to open an unexpected window on the making of the American economic imagination."

– T.J. Stiles, author of The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt and Jesse James: Last Rebel of the Civil War

"Tarnoff, a first time author, expertly sketches biographical vignettes… what elevates Moneymakers from the novelty shelf is Tarnoff's skillful interweaving of the counterfeiter's work and America's revolving enchantment with and disapproval of paper money."

– The New York Times Book Review

"Ben Tarnoff's informative and entertaining new book Moneymakers is full of small bits of fascinating information about what it was like to print phony money in America in the years between 1750 and 1865."

– Washington Monthly

"Intriguing… Tarnoff fills the book with many little-known facts and stories that will please anyone interested in the "story behind the stories" in American history. VERDICT A fascinating read for devotees of the history of American crime and law enforcement agencies."

– Library Journal

Mar 20, 12:00 AM
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