Greed in the Gilded Age is a Gatsby-esque tale of mystery, money, sex, and scandal.
‘Millionaire’ had just entered the American lexicon and Cassie Chadwick was front page news, becoming a media sensation before mass media, even eclipsing President Roosevelt’s inauguration. Using these newspaper articles, Hazelgrove tells the story of one of the greatest cons in American history.
Combining the sexuality and helplessness her gender implied, Chadwick conned at least 2 million dollars, equivalent to about 60 million today, simply by claiming to be the illegitimate daughter and heir of steel titan, Andrew Carnegie. Playing to their greed, she was able to convince highly educated financiers to loan hundreds of thousands of dollars, on nothing more than a rumor and her word.
She was a product of her time and painting her as a criminal is only one way to look at it. Those times rewarded someone who was smart, inventive, bold, and aggressive. She was able to break through boundaries of class, education, and gender, to beat the men of the one percent at their own game.
William Elliott Hazelgrove has a masters in history and is the best-selling author of ten novels and five narrative nonfiction books. His most recent publications include, Sally Rand: American Sex Symbol (Lyons Press), Knox's Noble Train: The Story of a Boston Bookseller's Heroic Expedition That Saved the American Revolution (Prometheus), Al Capone and the 1933 World's Fair: The End of the Gangster Era in Chicago (Rowman & Littlefield). He lives in Chicago, Illinois.
A Note to the Reader
Chapter 1: The Trial of the Century
Chapter 2: The Chase
Chapter 3: The Immigrants
Chapter 4: A Genteel Victorian Twist
Chapter 5: The Cauldron of Greed
Chapter 6: The Tombs
Chapter 7: Mrs. Bastado
Chapter 8: The High Priestess of Fraudulent Finance
Chapter 9: Lady Liberty
Chapter 10: The Good Doctor
Chapter 11: Madame DeVere
Chapter 12: The Bank Failure
Chapter 13: The Homestead
Chapter 14: The Gold Standard
Chapter 15: The Carnegie Subpoena
Chapter 16: The Doctor and His Wife
Chapter 17: The Queen of Cleveland
Chapter 18: The Broken Man
Chapter 19: Setting the Hook
Chapter 20: The Trial of the Century Begins
Chapter 21: The Bait
Chapter 22: Survival of the Fittest
Chapter 23: The Switch
Chapter 24: The Work of a School Boy
Chapter 25: The Good Pastor
Chapter 26: Geronimo
Chapter 27: Cashing In
Chapter 28: A Jury of Farmers
Chapter 29: Amazing Times
Chapter 30: A Conspiracy to Defraud
Chapter 31: The Newton Loan
Chapter 32: Closing Arguments
Chapter 33: The Verdict
Chapter 34: The Sentence
Chapter 35: The Brilliant Con of Cassie Chadwick
10/11/21. Publishers Weekly features this book and author William Hazelgrove in the forthcoming Mystery, Thriller, & True Crime feature.