Illegal Tender: Gold, Greed, and the Mystery of the Lost 1933 Double Eagle
David TrippISBN: 0743245741;
It is one of America's treasures -- the most valuable ounce of gold in the world, the celebrated, the fabled, the infamous 1933 double eagle. It shouldn't even exist but it does, and its astonishing, true adventures read like "a composite of The Lord of the Rings and The Maltese Falcon" ( The New York Times ). Illegal to own and coveted all the more, it has been sought with passion by men of wealth and with steely persistence by the United States government for more than a half century. In 1905, at the height of the exuberant Gilded Age, President Theodore Roosevelt commissioned America's greatest sculptor, Augustus Saint- Gaudens -- as he battled in vain for his life -- to create what became America's most beautiful coin.A?In 1933 the hopes of America dimmed in the darkness of the Great Depression, and gold -- the nation's lifeblood -- hemorrhaged from the financial system. As the economy teetered on the brink of total collapse, Franklin Delano Roosevelt,...