The Fabulous True Story of the World's Greatest Confidence Artist
Anchor Books, Paperback, 9780385499507, 240pp.
Publication Date: October 14, 2003
As he recounts this amazing tale, Richard Rayner tells the larger history of cons in America. We have always had a soft spot for the crafty or larger-than-life swindler, and with Drake's Fortune, Rayner offers a delightful portrait of a uniquely American character.
“Rayner brilliantly tracks Hartzell's evolution from small-time crookery to a humbug of superhuman proportions. . . . [This] fascinating history amply demonstrates that hope and gullibility spring eternal.” —The Oregonian
“Rayner's private insights add another dimension to this biography that help it to transcend more run-of-the-mill true crime. . . . A fascinating and poignant read.” —The News & Observer
“Rayner's beautifully balanced book . . . crams a fairly complete history of confidence scams into the story without slowing it down for a second, and breaks your heart by showing again and again how badly these good people wanted to believe in such a ridiculous scheme." —Chicago Tribune
"Witty, concise, and thoroughly researched." —Austin American Statesman