A Disposition to Be Rich - How a Small-town Pastor's Son Ruined an American President, Brought on a Wall Street Crash, and Made Himself the Best-hated Man in the United States-logo

A Disposition to Be Rich - How a Small-town Pastor's Son Ruined an American President, Brought on a Wall Street Crash, and Made Himself the Best-hated Man in the United States

Geoffrey C. Ward

Ferdinand Ward was the Bernie Madoff of his generation-a supposed genius at making big money fast on Wall Street, who turned out to have been running a giant pyramid scheme that ultimately collapsed in one of the greatest financial scandals in American history. The son of a Protestant missionary and small-town pastor with secrets of his own to keep, Ward came to New York at twenty-one and in less than a decade, armed only with charm, energy, and a total lack of conscience, made himself the business partner of a former president of the United States and was widely hailed as the "Young Napoleon of Finance." In truth, he turned out to be a complete fraud, his entire life marked by dishonesty, cowardice, and contempt for anything but his own interests. Drawing from thousands of never-before-examined family documents, Geoffrey C. Ward traces his great-grandfather's rapid rise to riches and fame, and his even more dizzying fall from grace. There are mistresses and mansions along the way; fast horses, crooked bankers, and corrupt New York officials; courtroom confrontations and six years in Sing Sing; and Ferdinand's desperate scheme to kidnap his own son to get his hands on the estate his late wife had left the boy. A Disposition to Be Rich is a great story about a classic American con artist, told with boundless charm and dry wit by one of our finest historians.

Ferdinand Ward was the Bernie Madoff of his generation-a supposed genius at making big money fast on Wall Street, who turned out to have been running a giant pyramid scheme that ultimately collapsed in one of the greatest financial scandals in American history. The son of a Protestant missionary and small-town pastor with secrets of his own to keep, Ward came to New York at twenty-one and in less than a decade, armed only with charm, energy, and a total lack of conscience, made himself the business partner of a former president of the United States and was widely hailed as the "Young Napoleon of Finance." In truth, he turned out to be a complete fraud, his entire life marked by dishonesty, cowardice, and contempt for anything but his own interests. Drawing from thousands of never-before-examined family documents, Geoffrey C. Ward traces his great-grandfather's rapid rise to riches and fame, and his even more dizzying fall from grace. There are mistresses and mansions along the way; fast horses, crooked bankers, and corrupt New York officials; courtroom confrontations and six years in Sing Sing; and Ferdinand's desperate scheme to kidnap his own son to get his hands on the estate his late wife had left the boy. A Disposition to Be Rich is a great story about a classic American con artist, told with boundless charm and dry wit by one of our finest historians.
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Description:

Ferdinand Ward was the Bernie Madoff of his generation-a supposed genius at making big money fast on Wall Street, who turned out to have been running a giant pyramid scheme that ultimately collapsed in one of the greatest financial scandals in American history. The son of a Protestant missionary and small-town pastor with secrets of his own to keep, Ward came to New York at twenty-one and in less than a decade, armed only with charm, energy, and a total lack of conscience, made himself the business partner of a former president of the United States and was widely hailed as the "Young Napoleon of Finance." In truth, he turned out to be a complete fraud, his entire life marked by dishonesty, cowardice, and contempt for anything but his own interests. Drawing from thousands of never-before-examined family documents, Geoffrey C. Ward traces his great-grandfather's rapid rise to riches and fame, and his even more dizzying fall from grace. There are mistresses and mansions along the way; fast horses, crooked bankers, and corrupt New York officials; courtroom confrontations and six years in Sing Sing; and Ferdinand's desperate scheme to kidnap his own son to get his hands on the estate his late wife had left the boy. A Disposition to Be Rich is a great story about a classic American con artist, told with boundless charm and dry wit by one of our finest historians.

Language:

English

Narrators:

Robertson Dean

Length:

14h 13m


Chapters

Introduction
Introduction

09:54


Part 1, Chapter 1
Part 1, Chapter 1

01:04:26


Part 1, Chapter 2
Part 1, Chapter 2

55:35


Part 1, Chapter 3
Part 1, Chapter 3

40:25


Part 2, Chapter 4
Part 2, Chapter 4

37:17


Part 2, Chapter 5
Part 2, Chapter 5

48:29


Part 2, Chapter 6
Part 2, Chapter 6

34:48


Part 3, Chapter 7
Part 3, Chapter 7

44:05


Part 3, Chapter 8
Part 3, Chapter 8

49:34


Part 3, Chapter 9
Part 3, Chapter 9

56:53


Part 3, Chapter 10
Part 3, Chapter 10

41:30


Part 3, Chapter 11
Part 3, Chapter 11

54:50


Part 4, Chapter 12
Part 4, Chapter 12

58:24


Part 4, Chapter 13
Part 4, Chapter 13

51:52


Part 4, Chapter 14
Part 4, Chapter 14

53:10


Part 4, Chapter 15
Part 4, Chapter 15

49:29


Part 5, Chapter 16
Part 5, Chapter 16

36:21


Part 5, Chapter 17
Part 5, Chapter 17

39:02


Part 5, Chapter 18
Part 5, Chapter 18

27:32


Part 5, Chapter 19
Part 5, Chapter 19

00:23