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

Extended Audio Sample Ponzis 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 (239 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Mitchell Zuckoff Narrator: David Birney Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Abridged 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

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Philip | 2/9/2014

    " I couldn't put this down. If you are interested in understanding what has happened in today's markets in terms of general greed and outright fraud, you have to read this book. The drivers that led to this scheme are eerily similar to the drivers that have fueled the market collapse from over exuberance to outright fraud. It is almost frightening to see that little has changed when you compare Ponzi's scheme to Madoff's! For those of you familiar with the fall of communism in Russia, the MMM fund scandal is essentially the same story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Emily | 2/5/2014

    " Very well written and interesting story. Incredible that Charles Ponzi's business grew to the size it became in just 9 short months. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Larry | 2/5/2014

    " An excellent book! Overall, this is a well-written, balanced and fair account of it's subject that is told in rich detail. One really gets a good sense of the times in which this story takes place. In short, this book tells the story of what happens when basically good men (or women) do bad thing and get caught doing them. I came away from this book with a definite sense that the bad deeds of Mr. Ponzi were/are not quite comparable in their badness to the deeds of the present-day Mr. Madoff. Read this book, for yourselves, and make up your own minds. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by mayhem! | 1/21/2014

    " A surprisingly fun read. Goes down easy with an almost playful writing style giving a sweet flavor to some careful research. Perhaps the most amazing thing about this story is how short Ponzi's run actually was. "

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