Author Talk — Fraud: An American History from Barnum to Madoff
How do you tell a visionary from a cheat or a con man? In the United States, entrepreneurial freedom has often made it difficult to distinguish salesmanship from deceit, inviting boosters, sharp dealers, and outright swindlers.
At the same time, the need to compete has often nudged respectable firms to embrace deception. As a result, fraud has been a key feature of American business since its beginnings. In a talk spanning two centuries, Edward Balleisen will trace 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.
Edward J. Balleisen is associate professor of history and public policy and vice provost for interdisciplinary studies at Duke University.
Author talks take place in the Hagley Soda House Auditorium, beginning at 7 p.m. RSVPs encouraged, walk-ins welcome. Please RSVP to Carol Lockman, firstname.lastname@example.org, or 302-658-2400, ext. 243.