Shelf Life


Katharine Crnko Feb 11, 2011

Title: Moneymakers: The Wicked Lives and Surprising Adventures of Three Notorious Counterfeiters

Author: Ben Tarnoff

Publisher: The Penguin Press HC

Type: Non-Fiction

Released: February 3, 2011

Length: 384 pages

In his new book, Moneymakers: The Wicked Lives and Surprising Adventures of Three Notorious Counterfeiters, Ben Tarnoff examines America’s long history of counterfeiting. Few countries, Tarnoff writes, “have had as rich a counterfeiting history as America.” It was only in the second half of the 19th century that the United States had a standardized national currency, and until that time, the U.S. had a wide — and easy counterfeited — variety of banknotes. Tarnoff follows the lives of three counterfeiters in the 18th and 19th centuries — Owen Sullivan, David Lewis and Samuel Upham — three men who manipulated the political and economic landscape of their day.

The lively and enthralling tale of three notorious counterfeiters offers insights into the makings of the American financial mind.


  • Listen to the Marketplace Interview with Ben Tarnoff Listen Now
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  • Read the New York Times review of MoneymakersRead Now

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