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category: History
published: Jan 2016
ISBN:9781443441094
publisher: HarperCollins

Empire Of Deception

From Chicago To Nova Scotia - The Incredible

by Dean Jobb

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post-confederation (1867-)
0 of 5
0 ratings
rated!
rated!
list price: $18.99
edition:Paperback
also available: eBook Hardcover
category: History
published: Jan 2016
ISBN:9781443441094
publisher: HarperCollins
Description

FINALIST for the Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Non-fiction * Arthur Ellis Award for Best Crime Nonfiction * Evelyn Richardson Non-Fiction Award * Robbie Robertson Dartmouth Book Award for Non-Fiction * Democracy 250 Atlantic Book Award for Historical Writing

A Globe and Mail and National Post Best Book of the Year

WINNER of the Chicago Writers Association Book of the Year Award, Traditional Non-Fiction

In the tradition of bestselling books such as The Devil in the White City and The Man in the Rockefeller Suit, Empire of Deception combines investigative journalism and spellbinding storytelling to examine one of the greatest con men of the twentieth century It was a time of unregulated madness. And nowhere was it madder than in Chicago at the dawn of the Roaring Twenties. As Model Ts rumbled down Michigan Avenue, gang war shootings announced Al Capone’s rise to underworld domination. Bedecked partygoers thronged to the Drake Hotel’s opulent banquet rooms, corrupt politicians held court in thriving speakeasies, and the frenzy of stock market gambling was rampant. Enter a slick, smooth-talking, charismatic lawyer named Leo Koretz, who enticed hundreds of people (who should have known better) to invest as much as $30 million-upwards of $400 million today-in phantom timberland and nonexistent oil wells in Panama. It was an ingenious deceit, one that out-ponzied Charles Ponzi himself, who only a few years earlier had been arrested for a pyramid scheme. Leo had a good run-his was perhaps the longest fraud in history-and when his enterprise finally collapsed in 1923, he vanished. The Cook County state’s attorney, a man whose lust for power equaled Leo’s own lust for money, began an international manhunt that lasted almost a year. When finally apprehended, Leo was living a life of luxury in Nova Scotia under the assumed identity of a book dealer and literary critic. A salacious court hearing followed, and his mysterious death in a Chicago prison rivaled the rest of his almost too-bizarre-to-believe life. Destined to become an instant historical true crime classic, Empire of Deception is timeless and riveting.

About the Author

Dean Jobb

DEAN JOBB’s most recent book, Empire of Deception, won the Arthur Ellis Award for Best True Crime Book and the Chicago Writers Association Book of the Year Award. It was also a finalist for the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Non-Fiction, as well as three Atlantic Canada book awards. Dean Jobb is the author of six other books, including Calculated Risk: Greed, Politics and the Westray Tragedy. His work has appeared in the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star, the Chicago Tribune, the Irish Times and other major publications. He is a journalism professor and a faculty member in the MFA program in creative nonfiction at the University of King’s College in Halifax.

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Awards
  • , Globe and Mail Best Book of the Year
  • , Chicago Writers Association’s Book of the Year Award, Traditional Non-Fiction
  • , Robbie Robertson Dartmouth Book Award (Non-Fiction)
  • , Evelyn Richardson Non-Fiction Award
  • , Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Non-Fiction
  • , Democracy 250 Atlantic Book Award for Historical Writing
  • , Arthur Ellis Award for Non-fiction
  • , National Post Book of the Year
Editorial Reviews

“[A] rollicking story of greed, financial corruption, dirty politics, and illicit sex.”

— <em>Publishers Weekly</em>

“Empire of Deception adds Leo Koretz to Chicago’s rogues’ gallery of the 1920s . . . great research . . . a masterpiece of narrative set-up and vivid language.”

— <em>Chicago Tribune</em>

“Except to those being swindled, swindlers make wonderful, swaggering copy, and Dean Jobb has made splendid use of the material in this juicy retelling. What a great caper movie this would make!”

— Marq de Villiers, author of Our Way Out

“An absolutely rollicking tale that is one part The Sting, one part The Great Gatsby, and one part The Devil in the White City. Impressively researched and brilliantly told, Empire of Deception vividly recreates the unscrupulous side of 1920s Chicago.”

— Karen Abbott, New York Times–bestselling author of Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy

“A thrilling read—a journey through the evasive American dream of easy wealth and its inevitable demise.”

— <em>Canada's History</em>

“This lively, entertaining, and depressingly relevant history of a man and his con reads like a novel and will be enjoyed by fans of popular history as well as true crime.”

— <em>Library Journal </em>(starred review)

“Dean Jobb has found a fascinating yet little-known jazz-age tale and told it with style and smarts. Get in on the action.”

— Jonathan Eig, New York Times–bestselling author of Get Capone

“A captivating tale of high-flying financial chicanery in 1920s Chicago. Thoroughly enjoyable.”

— Gary Krist, author of City of Scoundrels

“Like getting on the storied Cyclone roller coaster at Coney Island . . . holding your breath throughout its peaks and valleys, then getting out of the car, flushed and shaken, only wanting to ride it all over again . . . [a] thrilling, too-wild-for-fiction tale.”

— The Globe and Mail

“A guilty-pleasure reminder that the most audacious bad guys have always been the most entertaining. In Dean Jobb’s hands, the free-for-all 1920s, a sweet spot in the history of greed and corruption, reads like a Gatsby-Ponzi mashup.”

— Neal Thompson, author of A Curious Man

“Highly readable. . . . Will convince any sensible reader that when it comes to investing in crackpot schemes, nobody ever learns anything by experience. Leo Koretz did exactly what Bernie Madoff did, and came to the same end, as did his investors. A dramatic read, and a useful lesson!”

— Michael Korda, author of Charmed Lives

“Intoxicating and impressively researched, Jobb’s immorality tale provides a sobering post-Madoff reminder that those who think everything is theirs for the taking are destined to be taken.”

— <em>New York Times Book Review</em>

“Comprehensively researched and enthralling . . . high-stakes drama of the first order . . . unmasking [a] master swindler and revealing the author as an equally masterful storyteller.”

— <em>Washington Post</em>

“An absorbing tale of astonishing duplicity.”

— Maclean's

“Dean Jobb’s exploration of financial shaman Leo Koretz’s shameless scheming is a great read, but it’s also so much more than that. A brilliantly researched tale of greed, ambition, and our desperate need to believe in magic.”

— Douglas Perry, author of Eliot Ness

“Terrific . . . a fast-paced, fact-laden narrative populated by red-blooded personalities . . . a captivating account.”

— Winnipeg Free Press

“A laugh-out-loud page-turner, full of gullibility and twists and turns . . . a jaw-dropping, rollicking good read.”

— <em>Booklist</em>

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