Few nations have as rich a counterfeiting history as the United States, and get-rich-quick schemes are as old as America itself. In this history, Ben Tarnoff chronicles the lives of three counterfeiters who flourished in early America, from the colonial period to the Civil War. Driven by desire for fortune and fame, each counterfeiter cunningly manipulated the political and economic realities of his day, taking advantage of the poorly regulated world of paper money. Through the tales of these three memorable hustlers, Tarnoff tells the larger tale of America's financial coming-of-age, from a patchwork of colonies to a powerful nation with a single currency.
"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