The King of Confidence: A Tale of Utopian Dreamers, Frontier Schemers, True Believers, False Prophets, and the Murder of an American Monarch

The King of Confidence: A Tale of Utopian Dreamers, Frontier Schemers, True Believers, False Prophets, and the Murder of an American Monarch by Miles Harvey 0316463590 9780316463591
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ISBN: 0316463590


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The "unputdownable" (Dave Eggers, National Book award finalist) story of the most infamous American con man youve never heard of: James Strang, self-proclaimed divine king of earth, heaven, and an island in Lake Michigan, "perfect for fans of The Devil in the White City" (Kirkus)

A New York Times Book Review Editors Choice
Longlisted for the 2021 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction
Finalist for the Midland Authors Annual Literary Award
A Michigan Notable Book
A CrimeReads Best True Crime Book of the Year

"A masterpiece." --Nathaniel Philbrick

In the summer of 1843, James Strang, a charismatic young lawyer and avowed atheist, vanished from a rural town in New York. Months later he reappeared on the Midwestern frontier and converted to a burgeoning religious movement known as Mormonism. In the wake of the murder of the sects leader, Joseph Smith, Strang unveiled a letter purportedly from the prophet naming him successor, and persuaded hundreds of fellow converts to follow him to an island in Lake Michigan, where he declared himself a divine king.

From this stronghold he controlled a fourth of the state of Michigan, establishing a pirate colony where he practiced plural marriage and perpetrated thefts, corruption, and frauds of all kinds. Eventually, having run afoul of powerful enemies, including the American president, Strang was assassinated, an event that was frontpage news across the country.

The King of Confidence tells this fascinating but largely forgotten story. Centering his narrative on this charlatans turbulent twelve years in power, Miles Harvey gets to the root of a timeless American original: the Confidence Man. Full of adventure, bad behavior, and insight into a crucial period of antebellum history, The King of Confidence brings us a compulsively readable account of one of the countrys boldest con men and the boisterous era that allowed him to thrive.

Author: Miles Harvey

Language: English

Binding: Hardcover

Pages: 416

Publisher: Little, Brown and Company

Publication Date: 2020-07-14


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