My Adventures with Your Money (Hardcover)

George Graham Rice and the Golden Age of the Con Artist

By T.D. Thornton

St. Martin's Press, 9781250054371, 304pp.

Publication Date: November 3, 2015

List Price: 28.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.


Master swindler George Graham Rice operated at the zenith of America's golden age of con artistry with plenty of illicit competition, but he stood apart from all others thanks to the sheer audacity, pure nerve and nefarious brilliance of his scams. Against the dark rise of American greed in the early 20th Century into the Roaring Twenties, the dapper but devious "GG" feasted on a nation of gullible prey with the flair of circus showman P.T. Barnum and on a financial scale comparable to modern fraudster Bernie Madoff.

Born Jacob Simon Herzig in 1870, he later changed his name - just as he would frequently change his swindles - to make himself into one of the most imaginatively successful villains in American history. With only seven dollars to his name, Rice parlayed a chance horse racing tip into millions, lost it all to pride and ego, then won it back many times over. Vilified by securities regulators as the "Jackal of Wall Street," he sparked riots in Manhattan's financial district by perfecting the art of "bucket shop" trading with the sole purpose of bilking the public blind. From the lawless frontier of the Gold Rush to his lust for dizzying riches on Wall Street, GG's supreme knowledge of "sucker psychology" empowered him to orchestrate everything from street corner rip-offs for pocket change to elaborately scripted gambling hoaxes for hundreds of thousands of dollars, all while being vilified by old-guard profiteers like J.P. Morgan and befriended by gangsters like Arnold Rothstein.

In My Adventures with Your Money, T.D. Thornton has given us an unforgettable real-life version of The Sting with one of America's most colorful con men at its center.

About the Author

T.D. THORNTON is a Boston-based writer with a keen interest in chronicling the glorious underbelly of America. He is the author of the award-winning book Not by a Long Shot-A Season at a Hard-Luck Horse Track, and his journalism and creative nonfiction have appeared in the New York Times, Boston Globe, Slate, The Daily Beast and McSweeney's.

Praise For My Adventures with Your Money: George Graham Rice and the Golden Age of the Con Artist

"A hugely entertaining biography... My Adventures With Your Money is a grand addition to the grifting genre. Pick your own pocket and buy a copy." - Wall Street Journal

"This remarkable read of a man who swindled thousands of people out of millions of dollars is for fans of con artists, stock market history, and the films Wall Street and The Wolf of Wall Street." - Library Journal

"Set against the backdrop of the Roaring ’20s and its subculture of con men, this dazzling portrait traces Rice’s progress from small-time grifts such as inflating penny stocks to later being known as the “Jackal of Wall Street.” Thornton successfully transforms this unsavory character into a charming, irresistible anti-hero. This easy-to-read tale of survival during the earliest part of the 20th century will make readers hungry for more grifts." - Publishers Weekly

“Packed with rich period detail and written in a rollicking style that perfectly captures the sheer, unbounded vitality of its incorrigible subject, T.D. Thornton's My Adventures with Your Money is a both vivid evocation of a uniquely colorful era in our nation's past and a dazzling portrait of one of its most flamboyant figures--George Graham Rice, con-artist extraordinaire. Thanks to Thornton's exuberant biography, the unaccountably forgotten Rice has been restored to his rightful place alongside the likes of P. T. Barnum and Charles Ponzi in the great rogues gallery of all-American hucksters, swindlers, and confidence men.” - Harold Schechter, author of The Mad Sculptor: The Model, the Maniac, and the Murder that Shook the Nation

“In My Adventures with Your Money, T.D. Thornton shows us the heart and soul, such as they were, of one of our finest swindlers. This rollicking and highly entertaining portrait of George Graham Rice, a top-drawer hustler in the nation's great era of con, never fails to fascinate. From doped-up thoroughbreds to bogus gold stocks, Rice's money-making schemes roped in the suckers. But the big winners here are Thornton's lucky readers.” - Doug J. Swanson, author of "Blood Aces: The Wild Ride of Benny Binion, the Texas Gangster Who Created Vegas Poker