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 #2020

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 By Geoffrey C. Ward 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 Ferdinand Ward was the greatest swindler of the Gilded Age Through his unapologetic villainy he bankrupted Ulysses S Grant and ran roughshod over the entire world of finance Now his compelling behi
  • Title: 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
  • Author: Geoffrey C. Ward
  • ISBN: 9780679445302
  • Page: 278
  • Format: Hardcover
  • 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 By Geoffrey C. Ward Ferdinand Ward was the greatest swindler of the Gilded Age Through his unapologetic villainy, he bankrupted Ulysses S Grant and ran roughshod over the entire world of finance Now, his compelling, behind the scenes story is told told by his great grandson, award winning historian Geoffrey C Ward.Ward was the Bernie Madoff of his day, a supposed genius at making big moneFerdinand Ward was the greatest swindler of the Gilded Age Through his unapologetic villainy, he bankrupted Ulysses S Grant and ran roughshod over the entire world of finance Now, his compelling, behind the scenes story is told told by his great grandson, award winning historian Geoffrey C Ward.Ward was the Bernie Madoff of his day, a supposed genius at making big money fast on Wall Street who turned out to have been running a giant pyramid scheme one 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 with charm, energy, and a total lack of conscience, made himself the business partner of the 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 family documents never before examined, Geoffrey C Ward traces his great grandfather s rapid rise to riches and fame and his even dizzying fall from grace There are mistresses and mansions along the way fast horses and 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 Here is a great story about a classic American con artist, told with boundless charm and dry wit by one of our finest historians.
    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 By Geoffrey C. Ward Disposition Definition of Disposition by Merriam Webster Definition of disposition a prevailing tendency, mood, or inclination b temperamental makeup c the tendency of something to act in a certain manner under given circumstances the act or the power of disposing or the state of being disposed such as a administration, control. What Is a Disposition Investopedia Jan , Quick Takeaways on Dispositions A disposition refers to the selling or otherwise disposing of an asset or security The most common form of Disposition is the selling of securities on the open market, such as selling a stock Dispositions can also take the form of DISPOSITION definition in the Cambridge English Dictionary The disposition to go down that path, to accept the lure, emerges from a condition of dissociation. Disposition Definition, Examples, Cases, Processes Oct , The term disposition can have several different meanings in the legal world, depending on the issue being discussed For example, a disposition in a court case means that the court has come to a final decision on the case, and so the case can be closed. disposition Wiktionary May , disposition countable and uncountable, plural dispositions The arrangement or placement of certain things The scouts reported on the disposition of the enemy troops , Ben Travers, chapter , in A Cuckoo in the Nest A Disposition to Be Rich Ferdinand Ward, the Greatest A Disposition to be Rich is a unique family history that is also a unique literary collaboration The Kansas City Star Drawing on thousands of documents preserved by members of his family, the book is an engrossing and entertaining, up close and personal portrait of a compulsive swindler and sociopath, the Bernard Madoff of the Gilded Age. Disposition Disposition Definition of Disposition at Dictionary Disposition, temper, temperament refer to the aspects and habits of mind and emotion that one displays over a length of time Disposition is the natural or prevailing aspect of one s mind as shown in behavior and in relationships with others a happy disposition a selfish disposition. Disposition definition of disposition by The Free Dictionary disposition A person s customary manner of emotional response complexion, humor, nature, temper, temperament The combination of emotional, intellectual, and moral qualities that distinguishes an individual character, An inclination to something bent, bias, cast, leaning, partiality, Certificate of Disposition NY CourtHelp Aug , A Certificate of Disposition is an official court document affixed with the Court Seal that says what happened in a criminal case It says the crime you were charged with, what you were convicted of, the date you were convicted and the sentence you got When you apply for a job, you may be asked to get one for each of your convictions.
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      278 Geoffrey C. Ward
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    About "Geoffrey C. Ward"

    1. Geoffrey C. Ward

      Geoffrey Champion Ward is an author and screenwriter of various documentary presentations of American history He graduated from Oberlin College in 1962.He was an editor of American Heritage magazine early in his career He wrote the television mini series The Civil War with its director Ken Burns and has collaborated with Burns on every documentary he has made since, including Jazz and Baseball This work won him five Emmy Awards The most recent Burns Ward collaboration, The War, premiered on PBS in September 2007 In addition he co wrote The West, of which Ken Burns was an executive producer, with fellow historian Dayton Duncan.

    138 thoughts on “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”

    1. Geoffrey C Ward, a well renowned historian, especially regarding the work he has completed with Ken Burns , painstakingly pieced together a magnificent retelling of his infamous great grandpa, Ferd Ward Ferd was a sociopath who would stop at nothing to cheat folks out of their money even an ex President war hero U.S Grant and his own flesh n blood son, Clarence It is a wild ride to read this story, to say the least I enjoyed how G.C Ward started out by telling the tale of Ferd s parents and sibl [...]


    2. Author Ward mines his own family for a fascinating story it seems one of his ancestors was rather similar to Bernie Madoff.It makes on wonder about geneology perhaps one might not want to know such things about ones ancestors.But, an excellent and long book If you get tired of it, don t put it down without reading the last surprising chapter.


    3. Did we really need to find out about the author s missionary ancesots Their tales could be edited out to focus on the main character.


    4. The subtitle of the book, which is a bit of a run on sentence, is like the executive summary for the book 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 I can t speak to the best hated man part, but the rest of it is not an exaggeration The book is about the life of Ferdinand Ward, and it was written by his great grandson, so there was excellent access to family records, as well as to people who [...]


    5. Author Geoffrey Ward tells the reader from the start Ferdinand Ward was my great grandfather Usually books written about a forbear salute their great accomplishments This is the only biography I know of, where the forbear is a scoundrel These stories are usually left to someone else.Many biographies begin with the subject s childhood This one begins with the lives of the subject s parents i.e the author s great great grandparents and something of their parents This is significant because it buil [...]


    6. This is a phenomenally interesting read which is part biography, part character study, and part period piece of the US in the mid to late 1800s from the point of view of both a regular ish family and rich New Yorkers on Wall Street.The book tells the story of Ferdinand Ward who was the late 19th Century s Bernie Madoff, but not only did Ward bilk investors out of millions, he also somehow snookered former President Ulysses S Grant in to being his business partner So it s like if Bernie Madoff ha [...]


    7. Just an excellent tale of woe in the victorian age I thought the author great grandson of the subject was very objective and minimized any opinions that the current generations of Wards had I tried to imagine my g grandfather as a well known crook A very interesting possition The book gives few details of the end of Ferd s life I would have liked to see the entire picture Also absent was over enthusiast on all the potential openings for psycho analysis I think that is the sign of a great piece o [...]


    8. I really enjoyed this book I learned so much about history and I was fascinated with the lives of all those involved Couldn t believe how loyal the Ward family was to their son brother People are crazy and some things never change There s nothing new under the sun when it comes to deception and power Different era, same problems today


    9. An engrossing read a truly amazing story Academics might not find it analytical enough, but everyone else will just find themselves mesmerized by a tale that involves some of the biggest names in the Gilded Age, including President Grant And, importantly, the book shows how pyramid schemes have been part of American life for longer than many realize.



    10. What kind of power do you need to charm scores of people into giving up the equivalent of millions of dollars What kind of lies would you have to tell to trick so many people and dupe a famous writer and a former president To answer that, you need to look at the life of Ferdinand Ward, the small town preacher s kid who swindled in grand style, even bringing down Wall Street One of the things that makes this book most interesting is that it is written by the great grandson of the man who bankrupt [...]


    11. Geoffrey ward great grandson of Ferdinand ward is the author of this great book and he also does stuff with Ken burns on pbs Ferdinand ward is just a sociopath of epic proportions in this book from James fish to will and Sarah and to his son Clarence it was all about Ferdinand and how poor he was all the time after the Grant and ward collapsed The author tells you in his book that Ferdinand was no good rotten guy before Bernard Madoff There was Ferdinand ward A beguiling reminder that human natu [...]


    12. A sad story of deceitThis is a fascinating story of a relatively smart person who lacked the confidence that on his own in an honest pursuit of an honest career was beyond his ability to survive as a middle class person He for some reason felt that without immerse riches his family would reject him as having any value Indeed, his family was self centered and without values that they could pass along to him.


    13. Interesting social history Due to Ron Chernow s new book, General Grant has become a focus of interest While another member of my family is reading that book, I decided to mark my time by reading this one, made all the interesting by the fact that the author is the great grandson of Ferd Ward.


    14. I liked the book quite a bit, however it goes into great detail about many things that are only indirectly connected to the story of Ferdinand Ward Interesting, but occasionally lacks focus.


    15. Ferdinand Ward ran a Ponzi Scheme on Wall Street in the early 1880 s, when Charles Ponzi himself was still just an infant He ruined many investors including the former President U.S Grant.Presidents did not get pensions in those days Grant had given up his military career and its pension to go into politics He was given a gift about 4,000,000 in today s money by a group of Wall Street admirers This was intended to keep him comfortable for the rest of his life Grant lost nearly all of it in the f [...]


    16. This book uses a wealth of information from newspaper reports and letters to tell the tale of scandal that plagues this family Central to the story is Ferd Ward, a sociopath who uses his wit, and association with well known citizens to lie and swindle, for his own profit.The story of son, Ferd Ward doesn t begin until about one third of the way into the book The first part of the book is dedicated to his father, The Reverend Ferdinand De Wilton Ward I found the story of Reverend Ward cumbersome, [...]


    17. This capture of synopsis is just for myself to remind me about this book.Ferdinand Ward was the greatest swindler of the Gilded Age Through his unapologetic villainy, he bankrupted Ulysses S Grant and ran roughshod over the entire world of finance Now, his compelling, behind the scenes story is told told by his great grandson, award winning historian Geoffrey C Ward.Ward was the Bernie Madoff of his day, a supposed genius at making big money fast on Wall Street who turned out to have been runnin [...]


    18. I like to read about this period in history, so I expected to enjoy this book But I only read the first couple chapters because I couldn t get past the anti Christian negativity Mr Ward s great grandparents were missionaries to India, and like many believers of that period their personal faith and religious zeal was parochial and even xenophobic in nature I get why Mr Ward would look upon that critically But he doesn t seem to get that his ancestors were products of their time and culture it wou [...]


    19. A book about a very interesting man, written by one of his descendants This book suffers from the problem of genealogy It is weighed down with information than it ought to be about the family as a whole, where it is supposed to focus on one man The long lineage of the family that Ferdinand Ward and his ancestors were so proud of, clearly has not been shaken off by the descendant, who spends the beginning part of the book speaking entirely of Ferdinand Ward s father far than is necessary It is [...]


    20. Well, I have read both The Match King and Ponzi s Scheme, so I am reasonably interested in historical financial scandal I have read books on art forgery, diamond heists, the Dutch tulip bulb bubble and even the insurance scandals that brought down Calumet Farm I therefore thought That A Disposition to be Rich would be fascinating Boy was I wrong.This is Mr Ward s long winded, somewhat biased, academic style study of his great grandfather, who apparently was the Bernie Madoff of his day I guess t [...]


    21. This book started out slow I didn t find going into the history of those who came before Ferd all that useful, except the knowing of his parents personalities were useful to show how his home life help feed the monster Also, I don t know about the author s decision in leaving out Clarence s experience growing up as the notorious Ferd s son for the epilogue As I was reading, I found myself wanting to know detail regarding what it was like growing up being Ferd s offspring, and the book fed my cu [...]


    22. This was a very interesting read, especially since the author is the great grandson of the Best Hated man It was a fast read and offered some insights and an in depth perspective about Ferdinard Ward, who, as the author says, is usually just a foot note in books about U S Grant Almost despite himself, the author does offer a sympathetic view of how Ward got the way he turned out, but in the end, he just can t help showing his anger and contempt for his great grandfather and his sympathy for his [...]


    23. Fascinating eye on history I read this as a U.S Grant fan, but there s much to this book than insight into how Grant lost all his money The author is a great grandson of the Ferdinand Ward who conned Grant and thousands of others out of millions of dollars in investments Ferd Ward, the thief, is not very interesting Some excitement about his couple of glory years, but mostly he s just a creep, narcissistic sociopath What s interesting is Geoffrey Ward s investment in his family s saga Ferd War [...]


    24. How does one handle the fact that a great grandfather was one of the most notorious swindlers in American history Write the biography Despite being a man who ruined the finances of an ex President, destroyed the finances of many, many others, been the ultimate narcissist, a mean spirited person, and in every imaginable way a creep, Ferdinand Wards progeny turned out remarkably well Fortunately, the great grandson turned into a first rate historian and writer.It must have helped emotionally to no [...]


    25. I love reading about a skilled con man There are quite a few of them out there, Ferd Ward appears to be the best of his time.The first 100 pages or so deal with Ferd s parents It is dry stuff When the book gets to the good stuff, it will make the reader s jaw drop The way this con man took advantage of and bankrupted Ulysses Grant in order to take advantage of many people is hard to put into words I ll say amazingly disgusting.If you want to read about a shyster who created a big mess in the in [...]


    26. Extremely slow start but if you can push through the first third, you are rewarded with a fascinating true tale of greed, loyalty, fickleness, and gullibility Especially following our own century s financial scandals, to read about the readiness of people to suspend good judgment if they might make some obscene profits is downright scary Interesting note is that the author is the scoundrel s great grandson And a random literary note the model for the heroine of my all time favorite Angle of Repo [...]


    27. This was a nicely written and engaging book the author does an excellent job illuminating the charactor of the central figure and really allows his audience to get emotionally involved, mostly around how awful he is The sections that explained the various crimes bogged down a bit and were a little hard to follow, but you got enough understanding of the consequences that your understanding was sufficient Overall, a really enjoyable read.


    28. The love of the good life can push people to amazing things From beginning to the end, he never stopped cheating others As he pulled from one set of investors to pay the others all the while keeping most of the profit to live his extravagant lifestyle, he only got deeper and deeper into a financial mess I knew that U.S Grant was financially ruined and now I have met the man who did it Even at the end he admitted no guilt in any of affairs that ruined so many others.


    29. This is a study of a family s history It peaks early and the drama of the major crime committed are lacking while the subsequent pettiness and shabbiness are outlined in drab prose about a person whom history may have been better to forget This was a small story, a long journey for this author, but a small and sad walk through the series of indignities tallied by the perpetrator himself An unworthy character given too many pages by half.


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