A Disposition to Be Rich: Ferdinand Ward, the Greatest Swindler of the Gilded Age
A "New York Times" Notable Book The compelling behind-the-scenes story of the greatest swindler of the Gilded Age, whose villainy bankrupted Ulysses ... + Show synopsis A "New York Times" Notable Book The compelling behind-the-scenes story of the greatest swindler of the Gilded Age, whose villainy bankrupted Ulysses S. Grant and stunned the world of finance--told by his great-grandson, award-winning historian Geoffrey C. Ward. Ferdinand Ward, the son of a Protestant missionary and small-town pastor, moved to New York at twenty-one and, in less than a decade, made himself the business partner of a former president and established himself as the "Young Napoleon of Finance." In truth, he was running a massive pyramid scheme. 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, in a narrative populated with mistresses, crooked bankers, corrupt New York officials, and a desperate kidnapping scheme. Here is a great story about a classic American con artist.