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George Graham Rice

with introduction by Hugh Shamberger, 334 pageswith index& illustrations

A Hardbound edition at $49.95 , plus S&H.

Many old photos, like this, as illustrations.

Click Here to Enlarge the graphic.======>

In 1907 when investors nation-wide were delirious over the stupendous rise in the market value of securities of Goldfield mining companies, the public clamored for opportunities to buy into Nevada mining stocks. With childlike faith they invested in Death Valley's Greenwater and also the Rawhide district, where several companies capitalized stocks, listed them on the national exchanges and had them underwritten by prominent brokerage houses. In Rice's own words: "I make a conservative statement when I say that the American public sank $30 million in Greenwater in less than four months . . . yet the suckers, . . were crying for more."

The author's romance with speculation and money handling began in New York in 1901 where at age 30 he established a successful horse race tipping --{touting}-- service which in two years earned more than $1.5 million. Broke three years later, he moved West, reaching Goldfield where with only $150 he started an advertising agency and eventually a news bureau, successful in both. But he gambled his profits away.

Rice tells extensively about the mining booms in Goldfield, Bullfrog, Rawhide, Manhattan, and Ely. He organized a trust company to promote dozens of mines in the Nevada deserts, exploiting numerous mining companies by offering their stock on the market at 10 cents a share. By extensive publicity efforts he boomed the prices higher, reaping the rewards. He allegedly had a "sucker list" of 65,000 customers.

Rice attracted the attention of legitimate mining people and the mineral-conscious press, but unfortunately also the postal authorities. In all he served four sentences in federal penitentiaries in New York and Georgia for defrauding through the mails. But that did not dampen his energetic personality. Despite failing, he just kept on going, promoting on and on, not knowing when to quit.

By 1908 he formed a partnership with Nat Goodwin, a famous touring comedian, engaging in many mining stock ventures at Rawhide. Then in Reno he financed the Nevada Mining News which fought powerful state politicians as well. After that he marketed a financial newsletter from New York. His downfall came when he managed the promotional wing of a brokerage company which in 1910 was raided by postal authorities. Indicted the next year, Rice was sentenced to a year in prison.

During 1911 while under indictment Rice wrote in "Adventure Magazine" his memoirs in the world of get-rich quick financing. Evidently Rice never rose above the level of a financial confidence man; his writings depict investors as a race of gamblers who would take a chance anytime to reap a large reward with a small investment. He dedicated his book, originally published in 1913, to the "American Damphool Speculator, surnamed the Sucker . . . Read as you run, and may you run as you read."

He advises the public not to speculate on Wall Street because the cards are stacked by the "big fellows" and you can win only if they allow you to. This well written book is so readable that it is hard not to sympathize with the author. Certainly few had a more intimate knowledge of shady promotion and financial shenanigans than did Rice, whose real name was Jacob S. Herzig. Though many of his statements cannot be accepted at "par," Rice's enthusiasm for promotion is apparent on nearly every page.

A Hardbound edition sells for $29.95

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