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The Art of Making Money: The Story of a Master Counterfeiter by [Kersten, Jason]
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The Art of Making Money: The Story of a Master Counterfeiter Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 81 customer reviews

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Length: 318 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Details

  • File Size: 690 KB
  • Print Length: 318 pages
  • Publisher: Avery (April 29, 2009)
  • Publication Date: June 11, 2009
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0028256FW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #628,619 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Rob Hardy HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 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.
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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.
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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.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is one of the more detailed stories of a counterfeiter named Art, hence the title 'The Art of Making Money'. As far as a true crime genre goes, its a very interesting read and shows the amount of effort it takes to produce an effective bogus note. Much of the story tells about the main characters life beginning with his childhood where his father abandoned him, his mother and sister. Art grew up on the streets of Chicago and learned from a master how to make money and then he embarked on cross country trips where he would buy small dollar items to launder the fake bills and get real cash as change. Most of it is a fun, eye opening look at a world most of us do not live in but, as per usual, the fun has to end. Ironically, Art decided as an adult to locate his father and his father's rash behaviour with the counterfeit bills sends both Art and his father to jail. I do recommend the book at Amazon's used book prices.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The story of Art Williams and his counterfeiting is a very human portrayal of a man who is a product of his environment. It is the story of an artisan who lacked the nurturing of a stable family. It is a very real story of the man who literally could "make money" yet ultimately could not find that relationship he was seeking. It is fascinating yet tragic that money did not bring Williams what he most wanted out of life.
The unfolding of his story is well done and although other reviewers may have touched upon this; one more lesson in how inefficient and clumsy a government agency can be in fulfilling its objective.
The reader is surprised to learn that the original and first mission of the Secret Service was to eradicate counterfeiters. Created by Lincoln on his final living day, its mission today appears to be the protection of POTUS but that was not Lincoln's intent. The irony of the creation of the agency that might have saved Lincoln's life should not be overlooked.
For those not interested in government inefficiency this remains a bit of a social statement, a fascinating look into the technology of printing money, and the dangers of greed. It is also a study in human nature.
So engrossing that I have read the book twice, I could not put it down through the first read. Highly recommended.
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