This audiobook is ostensibly a biography of James J. Stang, a confidence man who crowned himself "king" of his Mormon sect on Lake Michigan before being assassinated by disaffected acolytes. But it's also a revelatory social history of mid-nineteenth-century America. Actress Rengin Altay brings energy and a touch of incredulity to her narration as the author shows with many an anecdote how "celebrity" became an aspirational term. Though he never draws direct parallels to our time, comparisons are easy to make: Charlatans peddled cures, financial schemes, and salvation to their followers with seeming abandon. Harvey's lively descriptions of these colorful characters keep the listener's attention focused throughout. Altay and Harvey have created a delightful companion for a walk or drive. L.W.S. © AudioFile 2020, Portland, Maine [Published: AUGUST 2020]
Trade Ed. Hachette Audio 2020
DD ISBN 978-1-4789-1440-2 $25.98
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