By: Dan Plazak
Coal, silver, gold...there is something about the allure of finding hidden treasure that puts a glint in people's eyes - a glint that is sometimes blinding. An American saying, often attributed to Mark Twain, defines a mine as a hole in the ground with a liar at the top. Delve into the curious mind of the con-artist with author Dan Plazak as he investigates the history of mining frauds in the United States from the Civil War to World War I.
Nathaniel Hawthorne's literary son Julian, for example, turned his artist impulses into creativity of a more nefarious sort after concluding that I want more money than the sort of literature I have produced can provide. At the prompting of a Harvard friend, Hawthorne soon turned from writing novels and journalism to writing letters intended to encourage investment in Canadian mining ventures - ventures of little or no value except to the letter writer.
By gathering such familiar stories as that of Nevada's infamous Comstock Lode with a succession of lesser-known scandals, Dan Plazak provides an entertaining and informative volume that's a treat for anyone with an interest in Western mining history.
Pages: 374 p.