A Century of Swindles
Ponzi Schemes, Con Men, and Fraudsters
Railey Jane Savage
About this book
From the Gilded Age through WWII, America was rife with ne’er-do-wells on a never-ending search for the next big score. Between 1850 and 1950 lawlessness melded with ingenuity, fueled by optimism and ruthlessness: America was dangerous, buzzing, and where opportunity came to take flight. The perfect conditions for swindlers.
The gall and gumption of their hustles strain credulity. Fake diamond fields? War with Canada? Sir Francis Drake’s unclaimed fortune? Apparently, all was fair in the quest for something-for-nothing.
The scammers in this volume range from the undeniably unscrupulous, to the ill and ill-advised. Fans of clever schemes and schadenfreude alike will be entertained by these tales of the rise and fall of some of America’s greatest swindlers.
About this author
Railey Jane Savage lives and works in Ithaca, NY, where her abiding love for history's forgotten moments - swindles, or otherwise - grows against the dramatic background of the Finger Lakes. With an English degree from Smith College, she splits her time between writing and editing. Swindles is her second book with Lyons after the 2017 release of We Have a Winner!: America's Weird and Wonderful Races, Derbies, Pageants, and Eating Contests.