The way Mitchell Zuckoff takes these characters who you believe to be secondary or tertiary in nature to the story and develps them as if they were major players. The research that was presented in the book was scrupulousw and masterful. It takes you from having Ponzi being a poor immigrant bon-vivant with dreams and ambitions much larger than life to an enterprising businessman/scoundrel that still has a heart of gold. I still don't understand his donation of skin to someone he did not know... almost as if he was buying "postal coupons" for heaven. All I had heard or read about Ponzi to date has been negative, this book opened up a human window into the person.
The reporters and editors of the Post, who believed enough on themselves to risk embarrassment and finacial ruin exposing Ponzi.
Ponzi discovering the International Postal reply coupons and the follow up scheme.
If there was, I suppose the arrival of Ponzi's mom at Boston.
An excellent, well researched book Thank you Mr. Zuckoff.
I found this book to be VERY interesting and like Ponzi thru out the book. I only wish the story was longer. It was a good way to learn about the man, and frankly I liked him very much.
Story of Ponzi's life is well told, if maybe too briefly, before and after the main days of his Scheme. In the midst of the craziness of the Scheme, when hundreds of thousands of dollars are flowing into Ponzi's company, the author does a very good job of reconstructing. He carries us along as each of the players involved converged on Ponzi's ultimate downfall. As for Ponzi, he was oddly unaware of the harm he was causing. From this author's telling, he could see moral problems in some areas of his and other's lives, but not as much with his Scheme.
I was completely fascinated from start to finish. What a great tale. I will never hear "Ponzi scheme" the same way again.
This book was such a good read. I really didn't know what to expect, you actually feel quite sorry for Ponzi in the end. He had such good intentions, but you know what they say about "good intentions".
From start to finish I just couldn't put this book down.
I always like reading about how certain phrases or actions get into society. This one was very intriguing and at times I felt sorry for Ponzi. He started out with honest motives but got in over his head. An interesting story that puts a friendly face on one of the most ridiculed ways of thievery.
What a fun book to listen to! It's hard to believe that people in the 20's were that gullible. But, given all the TARP money that Washington has handed out, maybe we haven't changed that much. I actually liked Charles Ponzi at the end of the book....
This book is excellent. As this book provides the color of the 1900 - 1920's in Boston, it provides an entertaining account of the flawed optimist Charles Ponzi rags to riches to rags story. Nicely written and well read.
This is the type of publication that is perfect as an audiobook. The author tells the facts about Ponzi, in a way that makes it as entertaining and dramatic as good fiction. There?s a lot of material on the subject of Ponzi and Boston in the 20?s, and I?m sure some of it could have been left out without compromising the book. But it is an entertaining insight in the man, Ponzi, and in the mechanisms that lead to the dramatic end of the story.
This biography and examination of the times really flows like a novel, which is a nice surprise. Also a nice surprise was the great narration - I found I listened to this book almost straight through and turned it on at every opportunity. It was very entertaining, and really highlighted the Roaring Twenties as a time of change, hope, surprise, and a feeling that anything was possible.
Charles Ponzi was only a part of that time, but the story behind the household name was interesting. Unlike some other reviewers, I didn't find that the depiction of this swindler was sympathetic at all, but I do agree that it portrayed him as human.....because that's what he was. It's good to understand that swindlers and greedy people without ethics also have families and dreams - they don't act like bastards, they don't have horns, they don't have a dark cloud about them. They are often charming, friendly people with nice smiles and good families. Proof that it doesn't take a lot to separate greedy people from their money. I wish we could say that the massive "robbing Peter to pay Paul" swindles ended with the stock crash in 1929, but there are still hundreds of millions of dollars being lost to Ponzi schemes today, so it looks like not many people have learned from the mistakes of those past victims of charmers like Ponzi.