The Wicked Lives and Surprising Adventures of Three Notorious Counterfeiters
Moneymakers: The Wicked Lives and Surprising Adventures of Three Notorious Counterfeiters. Penguin Pr: Penguin Group (USA). Feb. 2011. c.384p. index. ISBN 9781594202872. $27.95. CRIME
Freelance writer Tarnoff's tale of the most famous counterfeiters in American history is intriguing. The first was busted after a loud, drunken fight with his wife was overheard by neighbors in Colonial Boston. The last, a Philadelphia shopkeeper, sold bogus Confederate bills as souvenirs. Until the end of the Civil War, each state had its own set of rules and law enforcement practices and printed money as needed. Caught with the equipment and goods needed to produce paper currency, a counterfeiter had only to change locations after a brief encounter with the law or other narrow escape. The tide began to turn after the Secret Service, formed in July 1865, stepped in to provide a more consistent approach to this endemic problem. The history of counterfeiting also provides an interesting look at the ups and downs of the American banking system. Tarnoff fills the book with many little-known facts and stories that will please anyone interested in the "story behind the stories" in American history.
VERDICT A fascinating read for devotees of the history of American crime and law enforcement agencies.
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