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-

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-

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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… (more)

Editorial reviews (3 reviews)


In such self-awareness and intelligence, such grace when faced with pain and death, we feel the weight of Ward’s crime. And we, too, learn to love Grant.

Here, Ward similarly drags the skeletons from the closet to reveal the lightly explored lives of 19th century American Christian missionaries to India, and a financial crime that staggered the nation but that has disappeared from public memory.

Every page of this book attests to a sane streak in the Ward family — Ferd’s best effort notwithstanding. As George Bernard Shaw said, “If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance.”

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Book Details  


Publisher: Vintage (May 01, 2012)

Format: EPUB

Page count: 384 pages

File size: 8.1 MB

Protection: DRM

Language: English


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The New York Times 100 Notable Books of 2012

The New York Times Book Review has published its list of 100 Notable Books of 2012, both fiction and non-fiction. Some titles such as graphic novels...


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