A Disposition to Be Rich by Geoffrey C. Ward audiobook

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
Read by Robertson Dean

Tantor Audio
14.23 Hours Unabridged
Format: Digital Download (In Stock)
  • $20.99
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    ISBN: 9781452675398

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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.

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Summary

Summary

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.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

"[Ward] narrates a rollicking financial picaresque, but infuses it with psychological depth.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)
[Ward] narrates a rollicking financial picaresque, but infuses it with psychological depth. Publishers Weekly Starred Review
“Engaging accounts of American history and culture are author Ward’s métier. Here, Dean assures their success as an audiobook.” AudioFile
“[A] wry and engrossing tale of Gilded Age greed that resonates powerfully in our own time.” Jonathan Alter, author of The Promise

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Geoffrey C. Ward

Author Bio: Geoffrey C. Ward

Geoffrey C. Ward, historian and screenwriter, is the author of nineteen books, including A First-Class Temperament: The Emergence of Franklin Roosevelt, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Francis Parkman Prize, and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. He has written or cowritten many documentary films, including The War, The Civil War, Baseball, The West, Mark Twain, Not for Ourselves Alone, and Jazz.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download
Category: Nonfiction/Biography & Autobiography
Runtime: 14.23
Audience: Adult
Language: English