Fraud: An American History from Barnum to Madoff

By Edward J. Balleisen

Fraud: An American History from Barnum to Madoff
Fraud: An American History from Barnum to Madoff


In this book, you will learn the history of fraud in America and the evolving efforts to combat it – from the age of P.T. Barnum through the eras of Charles Ponzi and Bernie Madoff.

Starting from the days of “buyer beware” in the early nineteenth century, "Fraud: An American History from Barnum to Madoff" describes the gradual construction of regulatory institutions to protect consumers and investors – from the Gilded Age through the New Deal and the Great Society. It concludes with the recent era of deregulation, which has brought with it costly frauds, including the savings and loan crisis, corporate accounting scandals and the subprime mortgage crisis.

Product Details

Label Value
ISBN 978-0-691-16455-7
Publisher Princeton University Press
Published 2017
Pages 496
Format Hardcover

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Part I Duplicity and the Evolution of American Capitalism
Chapter 1 The Enduring Dilemmas of Antifraud Regulation
Chapter 2 The Shape-Shifting, Never-Changing World of Fraud
Part II A Nineteenth-Century World of Caveat Emptor (1810s to 1880s)
Chapter 3 The Porousness of the Law
Chapter 4 Channels of Exposure
Part III Professionalization, Moralism, and the Elite Assault on Deception (1860s to 1930s)
Chapter 5 The Beginnings of a Modern Administrative State
Chapter 6 Innovation, Moral Economy, and the Postmaster General's Peace
Chapter 7 The Businessmen's War to End All Fraud
Chapter 8 Quandaries of Procedural Justice
Part IV The Call for Investor and Consumer Protection (1930s to 1970s)
Chapter 9 Moving Toward Caveat Venditor
Chapter 10 Consumerism and the Reorientation of Antifraud Policy
Chapter 11 The Promise and Limits of the Antifraud State
Part V The Market Strikes Back (1970s to 2010s)
Chapter 12 Neoliberalism and the Rediscovery of Business Fraud
List of Abbreviations

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