Book review: Moneymakers

Moneymakers: The Wicked Lives and Surprising Adventures of Three Notorious Counterfeiters by Ben Rarnoff (Order from

This 396-page hardcover was a bit of a disappointment for me, perhaps because I am very interested in the subject of counterfeiting from a technical perspective and this book focuses more on the forgers themselves and the economic state of America during the times in which three “most successful counterfeiters” operated, starting in Colonial times, then the early 1800s, and finally during the Civil War. Also, I found the attempts to draw parallels to the recent Wall Street scandals a bit of stretch, as was the author’s portrayal of these criminals as Robin Hood figures merely helping out the ordinary citizens by producing money the banks couldn’t or wouldn’t supply in sufficient quantities to meet popular demand.

Check out other book reviews and news on the Books page of this site.