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Ben Tarnoff  

Author of "A Counterfeiter's Paradise" and "The Bohemians"

Ben Tarnoff has worked at Lapham’s Quarterly and his writing has appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle. He graduated from Harvard in 2007 and currently lives in New York City.

A Counterfeiter’s Paradise is Ben’s first book, published in February 2011 by The Penguin Press. The New York Times says of the author, “Tarnoff, a first-time author, expertly sketches biographical vignettes . . . Absorbing material, yes, but what elevates [A Counterfeiter's Paradise] from the novelty shelf is Tarnoff’s skillful interweaving of the counterfeiter’s work and America’s revolving enchantment with and disavowal of paper money.” The Washington Post called it a “delightful history lesson in American financial customs . . . [an] admirable and altogether charming book . . . I’d read [A Counterfeiter's Paradise]again and again before handing it to my brother and uncle for their information and amusement.” Ben is also the author of The Bohemians: Mark Twain and the San Francisco Writers Who Reinvented American Literature (The Penguin Press), an unforgettable story of the birth of modern America and the western writers who gave voice to its emerging identity.

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Moneymakers: The Wicked Lives and Surprising Adventures of Three Notorious Counterfeiters

Ben discusses the colorful tale of American counterfeiting, with an eye toward the financial evolution of the country as a whole. Topics include: the role of confidence in American currency; the centuries-old struggle between paper and gold; and the persistence of booms and busts.

The Bohemians: Mark Twain and the San Francisco Writers Who Reinvented American Literature

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