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Download Ponzi’s Scheme: The True Story of a Financial Legend Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Ponzi’s Scheme: The True Story of a Financial Legend, by Mitchell Zuckoff Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (238 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Mitchell Zuckoff Narrator: Grover Gardne Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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You’ve heard of the scheme. Now comes the man behind it. In Mitchell Zuckoff's exhilarating book, the first nonfiction account of Charles Ponzi, we meet the charismatic rogue who launched the most famous and extraordinary scam in the annals of American finance. 
It was a time when anything seemed possible–instant wealth, glittering fame, fabulous luxury–and for a run of magical weeks in the spring and summer of 1920, Charles Ponzi made it all come true. Promising to double investors’ money in three months, the dapper, charming Ponzi raised the “rob Peter to pay Paul” scam to an art form and raked in millions at his office in downtown Boston. Ponzi’s Scheme is the amazing true story of the irresistible scoundrel who launched the most successful scheme of financial alchemy in modern history–and uttered the first roar of the Roaring Twenties.

Ponzi may have been a charlatan, but he was also a wonderfully likable man. His intentions were noble, his manners impeccable, his sales pitch enchanting. Born to a genteel Italian family, he immigrated to the United States with big dreams but no money. Only after he became hopelessly enamored of a stenographer named Rose Gnecco and persuaded her to marry him did Ponzi light on the means to make his dreams come true. His true motive was not greed but love.

With rich narrative skill, Mitchell Zuckoff conjures up the feverish atmosphere of Boston during the weeks when Ponzi’s bubble grew bigger and bigger. At the peak of his success, Ponzi was taking in more than $2 million a week. And then his house of cards came crashing down–thanks in large part to the relentless investigative reporting of Richard Grozier’s Boston Post. 

In Zuckoff's hands, Ponzi is no mere swindler; instead he is appealing and magnetic, a colorful and poignant figure, someone who struggled his whole life to attain great wealth and who sincerely believed–to the very end–that he could have made good on his investment promises if only he’d had enough time. Ponzi is a classic American tale of immigrant life and the dream of success, and the unexpectedly moving story of a man who–for a fleeting, illusory moment–attained it all.

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Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Dmknoell | 2/8/2014

    " Really interesting to actually read the story behind the legend, but this was too heavy on lists-of-facts [long lists] - so it was a catalog but would have been much better with some more analysis of the why and discussion of Ponzi's psyche. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Frishawn Rasheed | 2/7/2014

    " I really enjoyed the story of Carlo "Charles" Ponzi and his attempt, albeit misguided, to achieve his version of the American Dream. This book was so well-written that I forgot that I was reading a work of non-fiction. I was captivated by all aspects of Ponzi's ill-fated life and found myself fretting his fate by the end. LOVED LOVED LOVED THIS BOOK "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Kristi | 1/30/2014

    " This was an account of the rise of Charles Ponzi, who came up with a "rob Peter to pay Paul" money-making scheme in the 1920's so big in scale it has lent its name to every similar scheme since then. Interesting, but could have been half the length. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Kelli | 1/27/2014

    " A sympathetic biography of the man who nearly took down the Boston banking system. Though I knew how this story ends, having used the term "Ponzi scheme" in conversation, I enjoyed this fascinating look at a man who arrived with a plan that the public wanted to believe in, at just the right time in history. While it was made plain that Ponzi spent a good deal of his days in delusion, I found myself rooting for him at times, thinking, "Hey, maybe you CAN get yourself out of this mess!" It is revealing, in these times of financial crisis, how fragile the financial framework can be, and how one whopper of a situation can threaten the whole system. "

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