American Kingpin: The Epic Hunt for the Criminal Mastermind Behind the Silk Road Audiobook, by Nick Bilton Play Audiobook Sample

Download American Kingpin: The Epic Hunt for the Criminal Mastermind Behind the Silk Road Audiobook

American Kingpin: The Epic Hunt for the Criminal Mastermind Behind the Silk Road Audiobook, by Nick Bilton Play Audiobook Sample
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Author: Nick Bilton Narrator: Will Damron Publisher: Penguin Random House Audio Length: Release Date: May 2017 Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download ISBN: 9781524750848

Publisher Description

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER. The unbelievable true story of the man who built a billion-dollar online drug empire from his bedroom—and almost got away with it


In 2011, a twenty-six-year-old libertarian programmer named Ross Ulbricht launched the ultimate free market: the Silk Road, a clandestine Web site hosted on the Dark Web where anyone could trade anything—drugs, hacking software, forged passports, counterfeit cash, poisons—free of the government’s watchful eye.


It wasn’t long before the media got wind of the new Web site where anyone—not just teenagers and weed dealers but terrorists and black hat hackers—could buy and sell contraband detection-free. Spurred by a public outcry, the federal government launched an epic two-year manhunt for the site’s elusive proprietor, with no leads, no witnesses, and no clear jurisdiction. All the investigators knew was that whoever was running the site called himself the Dread Pirate Roberts.


The Silk Road quickly ballooned into $1.2 billion enterprise, and Ross embraced his new role as kingpin. He enlisted a loyal crew of allies in high and low places, all as addicted to the danger and thrill of running an illegal marketplace as their customers were to the heroin they sold. Through his network he got wind of the target on his back and took drastic steps to protect himself—including ordering a hit on a former employee. As Ross made plans to disappear forever, the Feds raced against the clock to catch a man they weren’t sure even existed, searching for a needle in the haystack of the global Internet.

Drawing on exclusive access to key players and two billion digital words and images Ross left behind, Vanity Fair correspondent and New York Times bestselling author Nick Bilton offers a tale filled with twists and turns, lucky breaks and unbelievable close calls. It’s a story of the boy next door’s ambition gone criminal, spurred on by the clash between the new world of libertarian-leaning, anonymous, decentralized Web advocates and the old world of government control, order, and the rule of law. Filled with unforgettable characters and capped by an astonishing climax, American Kingpin might be dismissed as too outrageous for fiction. But it’s all too real.

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  • “Narrator Will Damron embodies the determination and frustration of driven but flawed federal agents who sought to bring down the world’s largest website for the purchase of illegal drugs, weapons, and even deadly poisons…Damron effectively embodies Ulbricht’s idiosyncrasies and those of the federal agents who pursued him. Damron makes them all more human. Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award.”

    - AudioFile
  • “A fantastic modern true-crime thriller. The book moves at a stunning pace while packed full of exquisite reporting and detail.”

    - Ashlee Vance, New York Times bestselling author
  • “An astonishingly well-researched narrative.”

    - Globe and Mail (Toronto)
  • “The weird details of the Silk Road bust…have proved irresistible to storytellers…But American Kingpin: The Epic Hunt for the Criminal Mastermind Behind the Silk Road…is the most comprehensive narrative thus far…Bilton’s impressive reporting gives more space to a story that could use some sprawl.”

    - New York Times Book Review
  • “Masterfully reported and written, Bilton’s book drops you hard into the dark heart of the most famous Internet crime to date. A first-rate thrill.”

    - Joshua Cooper Ramo, author of The Seventh Sense
  • “A fast-paced, readable true-crime tale that frames the likely future of the underground economy.”

    - Kirkus Reviews
  • “A rollicking, deftly reported tale of the Dark Web. I couldn’t put it down.”

    - Clive Thompson, author of Smarter Than You Think
  • “In American Kingpin, Nick Bilton again proves why he’s one of tech’s best storytellers with a stunningly researched and very scary portrait of the creator of a marketplace gone mad, and the oddly uncoordinated officers who took him down.”

    - Steven Levy, author of Hackers and In the Plex


  • An Amazon Editor’s Top Pick for May 2017
  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award

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About the Author

Nick Bilton is a special correspondent for Vanity Fair, where he writes about technology, business, and culture, and is a contributor at CNBC. He was a columnist for the New York Times for almost a decade.

About the Narrator

Will Damron has won several Earphones Awards and been a finalist for the prestigious Audie Award for best narration. He has had acting roles off-Broadway and on stage and screen throughout the country.