Extended Audio Sample

Download 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 Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample A Disposition to Be Rich: How a Small-Town Pastors 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 Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (55 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Geoffrey C. Ward Narrator: Robertson Dean Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
Regular Price: $20.99 Add to Cart
— or —
FlexPass™ Price: $12.95$5.95$5.95 for new members!
Add to Cart learn more )

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. Download and start listening now!

bf2j

Quotes & Awards

  • [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

  • "[Ward] narrates a rollicking financial picaresque, but infuses it with psychological depth.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “[A] wry and engrossing tale of Gilded Age greed that resonates powerfully in our own time.”

    Jonathan Alter, author of The Promise

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Justin Pauls | 12/6/2013

    " Fascinating read, though a little dry at times. Very interesting to learn about the 19th century Madoff who ruined U.S. Grant. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Collins Roth | 5/2/2013

    " While slow at first in the early life of F. Ward, the remainder of the book is a fascinating look at a 19th century Bernie Madoff. Its remarkable to realize some people can make their whole lives a lie... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Donna Campbell | 1/7/2013

    " I really enjoyed this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by David Knickmeyer | 10/9/2012

    " Good read. Mr. Ward does a good job of brining his great-grandfather to life. It moved quickly and didn't get too bogged down in any of the financial details. "

  • > Show All
Write a Review
What is FlexPass?
  • Your first audiobook is just $5.95
  • Over 90% are at or below $12.95
  • "LOVE IT" guarantee
  • No time limits or expirations