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Paperback King of Heists: The Sensational Bank Robbery of 1878 That Shocked America Book

ISBN: 1599219956

ISBN13: 9781599219950

King of Heists: The Sensational Bank Robbery of 1878 That Shocked America

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

King of Heists is a spellbinding and unprecedented account of the greatest bank robbery in American history, which took place on October 27, 1878, when thieves broke into the Manhattan Savings Institution and stole nearly $3 million in cash and securities?around $50 million in today's terms. Bringing the notorious Gilded Age to life in a thrilling narrative, J. North Conway tells the story of those who plotted and carried out this infamous robbery,...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

King of Heists

"King of Heists" by J. North Conway is the story of one George Leslie, America's greatest bank robber. It is more than then just his life in the latter part of the 19th century, but a glimpse of what New York City and America was like during the Gilded Age. As a person fascinated with the early days of New York, I found this book to be quite informative. It is an enjoyable read for history fans.

King Of Heists

This book was not only interesting reading but very informative about the life in New York City and the coruption that went on in the 1800's, from President Grant right on down the line to the lowly bank robber. I was given a history lesson in a very intertaining way. A very good book.

A Fine Work of the People & the Times/ Robbery Captures Both - Entwined & Inseparable

The time of course is the Guilded Age where the governments let public buildings and streets fall into disrepair. Where government oversight of the city(NYC) produeced graft and outright thievery ot obscene proportions. Where Tweed(crooked politician) and his henchmen controlled everything in the city and state, there was nothing he didn't have his hand in. Where the robber barons appetite for amusement remained insatiable as they continued their unrestrained spending on themselves. As the city crumbled, they adorned the expensive robes of Nero while they fiddled away their fortunes on wine, women, food, or any decadence that suited them. The city's elites ignored the fact that the streets were overrun with filth and garbage, the sewer system in constant disrepair, while disease and death were spread throughout New York's crime riddden districts. This is where George Leslie, a gentleman architect of age 27 and a fine reputation, is about to do a 180 degree turn on his life. He knows what he is going to do. He is going to be the greatest bank robber of all time & NYC where the BIG money is. At this time in history there were just five ways to rob a safe: steal it outright, lock manipulation to determine the combination, screwing the vault, drilling it, or blowing it up. Learn these methods in detail and practice as you read this scholarly work written by an author of 11 books that is also an accomplished poet. He really gets into the fascinating history including the first bank robbery in America in 1798. Great Stories. Well written and researced biographies. Just a pleasure to sit back & be transported not only back in time but to a great/tragic adventure. And it's all true! The author goes into themes that relate to the Guilde Age and our own times that are unfortunately - running unacanningly parallel. For the robber barons were taking over the country, and they were not about to let bank robbers or crooked politicians interfere with thier own form of thievery in railroads, oil, steel, and other big money endeavors. If there was any robbing to do the bankers, speculators, & big industrialist capitalist were going to do it & make the bank robbers look like small potatoes and saints compared to the amounts they would steal and who were stealing from, for even the common theives wouldn't take grandmas life savings. According to the statistics the average Ceo made 42 times the average blue-collar workers' pay in 1980, 85 times in 1990, and a whopping 531 times in 2000. We are catching up with the Guilde Age and oh my... isn't it something, how just somethings never change.

Great Read, Inventive Style

I found Conway's book a tour de force, expertly combining the best of fiction writing with enlightening historical facts. Conway's mature and sophisticated writing style was a pleasure and in my opinion, as a lifelong English teacher, done by an accomplished master-craftsman. His past writing career shows through in the way the book is so expertly structured and conceived. It is well researched and his attention to detail and description is uncanny. I am prompted by this book to buy others by him which I presume are as well written and interesting. However, I don't think this book is a good fit for some readers, since Conway's style is reminiscent of Dos Passos and other inventive authors and aimed at a mature reading audience.

Best "true crime" book in a while

King of Heists is kinda like David McCullough meets Ian Fleming. The story is told in a scholarly way, but with fully fleshed-out 'characters'. The spirit of the "Gilded Age" is wonderfully captured as a backdrop for the most successful bank heist in history and the rise of the modern bank-robber. Hard to believe such an interesting and notable character as Leslie is so little-known; the 'players' involved make the story seem almost like historical fiction. Anyways, fully recommended.
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