What have you always wondered about the economy? Tell Us
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.

— Penguin.com

  • Listen to the Marketplace Interview with Ben Tarnoff Listen Now
  • Buy Moneymakers on Amazon Buy Now
  • Watch a video about Moneymakers on Amazon Watch Now
  • Read the New York Times review of MoneymakersRead Now

Marketplace is on a mission.

We believe Main Street matters as much as Wall Street, economic news is made relevant and real through human stories, and a touch of humor helps enliven topics you might typically find…well, dull.

Through the signature style that only Marketplace can deliver, we’re on a mission to raise the economic intelligence of the country—but we don’t do it alone. We count on listeners and readers like you to keep this public service free and accessible to all. Will you become a partner in our mission today?

Your donation is critical to the future of public service journalism. Support our work today – for as little as $5 – and help us keep making people smarter.