Best Books of the Month Shop Costumes Learn more nav_sap_SWP_6M_fly_beacon $5 Albums All-New Fire TV Stick with Voice Remote Grocery Introducing Handmade New Kitchen Scale from AmazonBasics Amazon Gift Card Offer redoaks redoaks redoaks  Amazon Echo Starting at $49.99 Kindle Voyage UnchartedBundle Shop Now STEM Toys & Games
The Art of Making Money: The Story of a Master Counterfeiter and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

Buy Used
+ $3.99 shipping
Used: Good | Details
Sold by jason_kurt
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Good, there are some wear and underlined-highlighted sentences. Please consider this that used books very often do not include supplements like CDs access codes etc.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The Art of Making Money: The Story of a Master Counterfeiter Hardcover – Bargain Price, June 11, 2009

72 customer reviews

See all 15 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
"Please retry"
Hardcover, Bargain Price, June 11, 2009
$4.45 $1.56

This is a bargain book and quantities are limited. Bargain books are new but could include a small mark from the publisher and an price sticker identifying them as such. Details

"Tough As They Come" by Travis Mills and Marcus Brotherton
Gutsy, honest and filled with humor Travis' story is one of hope and resilience. Check out "Tough As They Come", by Travis Mills and Marcus Brotherton. See more inspirational military biographies

Special Offers and Product Promotions

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. A young smalltime crook with a meticulous eye for artistic detail and an addiction to the thrill of crime crafts millions in high-quality phony bills in KerstenÖs account of counterfeiter Art Williams Jr. Born in 1972 and abandoned by his father to poverty, the gritty gangs of Chicago and a mentally ill mother, Williams slid into an underworld of theft and violence before a bohemian money crafter introduced him to counterfeiting. With swagger, ingenuity and a devoted wife, Williams produced millions of dollarsÖ worth of uncannily accurate bills for 14 years, till the Secret Service caught up with him. As Kersten narrates this story, he ably weaves the minuscule details of currency security with colorful portraits of underworld characters like a Chinese mob leader known as the Horse and tales of giddy shopping sprees fueled by sex, fake bills, even mischievous masquerades as priests. Illustrating Williams not only as a delinquent genius but a sensitive young man seeking paternal love and aesthetic validation, Kersten (who first told WilliamsÖs story in Rolling Stone) configures a rollicking and captivating look into a compelling criminal mind. (June 11)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


"Jason Kersten delves into the arcane world of a master counterfeiter with a fine eye for detail and novelist's grasp of character. A story about fathers and sons, filled with crime-fueled 'slamming' trips, drug pirates, and obsessive desire, I couldn't put it down. After reading this true tale of money and crime, I'll never be able to look at a C- note the same way again."-Julia Flynn Siler, author of the New York Times bestseller, The House of Mondavi: The Rise and Fall of an American Wine Dynasty

See all Editorial Reviews

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Gotham (June 11, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592404464
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,315,702 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jason Kersten is the author of the best-selling book, The Art of the Making Money: The Story of a Master Counterfeiter, as well as the 2003 New York Times Notable Book, Journal of the Dead: A Story of Friendship and Murder in the New Mexico Desert. Between books, he often writes for national magazines such as Rolling Stone, Men's Journal, and Reader's Digest. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Rob Hardy HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on August 5, 2009
Format: Hardcover
It is rather amazing that our day-to-day economy is founded on rectangles of printed paper, worthless in themselves, but to which we all communally assign a high value. The difference between the rectangles' actual value and their symbolic value is what counterfeiters exploit, and the counterfeiter's work was considered so dangerous to society that it used to be a capital crime. It is still a danger, and the object of the Federal Reserve Bank is to print dollar bills that cannot be copied, while the object of the counterfeiters is to copy them. This cat-and-mouse game has best been played recently by counterfeiter Art Williams, who successfully conquered the redesigned $100 bill, issued to thwart photocopiers in 1996. Successfully, for a while at least. Williams's story is told in _The Art of Making Money: The Story of a Master Counterfeiter_ (Gotham Books) by Jason Kersten. Kersten has had plenty of interviews with Williams, and with many of his connections; he did not get cooperation from the Secret Service, which preferred to keep things secret. The Secret Service was formed in 1865 to combat counterfeiters, who were threatening the foundation of the US economy. Only later did it get the job it is better known for, protecting the president. So while there are some details about the work of the counterfeiter and his detection and prosecution, most of the book plays as a biography of a talented, obsessed, and tragic figure.

Williams had an upbringing fit for a career criminal, including a chaotic home and gang membership. A counterfeiting expert took him under his wing, explaining how to use the arc-light burner, make plates, mix inks, obtain paper, and the other matters of hardware, as well as common-sense tips on how to unload the money and keep from getting caught.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By C A Studog on August 2, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Jason Kersten does a marvelous job of telling the true story of how Art Williams became one of the most successful conterfeiters in modern times. The narrative flows beautifully to bring readers into the difficult and troubled life of Art as he was growing up and how he got into conterfeiting. There's no sense of hyperbole nor of minimizing Art's strengths and/or his flaws. Art's story itself also is inherently compelling because of his great humanity and how his attempt to connect with his estranged father led to his discovery and apprehension by the secret service. I found this book to be one of the most memorable and high-quality books that I have ever read.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Michael Davey on July 30, 2009
Format: MP3 CD
I listened to the audio version of "The Art of Making Money", I think this might be the best way to get this particular title. A young man finds himself on a roller coaster ride, but instead of getting off, he yells "faster, faster", even though he must know where the ride is going to end up. The disappearance of his counterfeiting mentor is like a foreshadowing... We know that huge amounts of (funny) money, a dysfunctional set of friends and family and the secret service are all going to combine for a nasty ending, but what a ride!

More than anything, we learn something that many people find out, that in the end, no matter what, family, and our parents are often a bond that can't be broken no matter how badly they treat us, nor how many times they abandon us, or how badly we treat each other.

I'll keep this audio book for listening to again.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By James C. Stoltz on September 27, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Jason Kersten knows how to write. Regardless of what you think about Art Williams Jr. as a person, Kersten has spun a highly entertaining tale full of fascinating characters, events, and subject matter. It's relatively rare that I completely lose myself in a book and think during the day "I can't wait to get home and read some more of this." The Art of Making Money was one of the books that made me feel that way. It's a page turner for sure

As a connoisseur of non-fiction books about professional thieves, I think that one of common flaws writers make when working in this genre is focusing too much on the court process. I've read books where literally the last half of it describes what happens after the criminal gets caught and is about all the courtroom minutia leading up to their sentence. Kersten didn't fall into this trap, probably because the story of counterfeit money and Art Williams Jr. is genuinely interesting and meaty enough to make a whole book out of without resorting to that.

Another thing Kersten did right was not focusing too much on the police that brought Art down. In most true crime books about thieves there are entire chapters about the detectives assigned to the case and who they are, sometimes you'd almost think the book was about the police officers. Not so here, instead of falsely building up a police hero, Kersten instead talks about Art and the mistakes he made himself which led to his own capture.

And mistakes he did make! While a clever and skilled counterfeiter, Art lacked the maturity, caution, and common sense which are so necessary for long term success in that craft.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again