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American Kingpin: The Epic Hunt for the…
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American Kingpin: The Epic Hunt for the Criminal Mastermind Behind the… (edition 2017)

by Nick Bilton (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4001453,074 (4.24)5
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER. The unbelievable true story of the man who built a billion-dollar online drug empire from his bedroom--and almost got away with it   In 2011, a twenty-six-year-old libertarian programmer named Ross Ulbricht launched the ultimate free market: the Silk Road, a clandestine Web site hosted on the Dark Web where anyone could trade anything--drugs, hacking software, forged passports, counterfeit cash, poisons--free of the government's watchful eye.   It wasn't long before the media got wind of the new Web site where anyone--not just teenagers and weed dealers but terrorists and black hat hackers--could buy and sell contraband detection-free. Spurred by a public outcry, the federal government launched an epic two-year manhunt for the site's elusive proprietor, with no leads, no witnesses, and no clear jurisdiction. All the investigators knew was that whoever was running the site called himself the Dread Pirate Roberts.   The Silk Road quickly ballooned into $1.2 billion enterprise, and Ross embraced his new role as kingpin. He enlisted a loyal crew of allies in high and low places, all as addicted to the danger and thrill of running an illegal marketplace as their customers were to the heroin they sold. Through his network he got wind of the target on his back and took drastic steps to protect himself--including ordering a hit on a former employee. As Ross made plans to disappear forever, the Feds raced against the clock to catch a man they weren't sure even existed, searching for a needle in the haystack of the global Internet. Drawing on exclusive access to key players and two billion digital words and images Ross left behind, Vanity Fair correspondent and New York Times bestselling author Nick Bilton offers a tale filled with twists and turns, lucky breaks and unbelievable close calls. It's a story of the boy next door's ambition gone criminal, spurred on by the clash between the new world of libertarian-leaning, anonymous, decentralized Web advocates and the old world of government control, order, and the rule of law. Filled with unforgettable characters and capped by an astonishing climax, American Kingpin might be dismissed as too outrageous for fiction. But it's all too real.… (more)
Member:titoCA321
Title:American Kingpin: The Epic Hunt for the Criminal Mastermind Behind the Silk Road
Authors:Nick Bilton (Author)
Info:Portfolio (2017), Edition: Illustrated, 352 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Rating:****
Tags:None

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American Kingpin: The Epic Hunt for the Criminal Mastermind Behind the Silk Road by Nick Bilton

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Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
Detailed story

Good investigative work on one of the least known commerce sites on the dark net. Could not put it down! ( )
  iarenzana | Jul 27, 2022 |
A fast-paced read about the take-down of a young guy who thought he could save the world by selling drugs, guns, body parts and really, anything else illegal, on the "dark web". Ross Albright embraced the libertarian values that what you put in your body was your business, not the governments. He started out selling magic mushrooms that he grew in his apartment. From there the website escalated to the sale of anything illegal you could dream of, using Bitcon which could not be traced. The ABC agencies caught onto to the website early, and yet they could not uncover the person behind it.

A fast paced true-crime that had me reading late into the night. ( )
  JBroda | Sep 24, 2021 |
This is a non-fiction book that reads like a thriller. Bilton does a great job of moving between characters and story lines and he has crafted an informative and entertaining book. ( )
  MarkMad | Jul 14, 2021 |
It was o.k. I guess. Although since I knew how everything ended, that probably made is less suspenseful but I'm glad I read it or at least week of my life that this is what I was reading. ( )
  swmproblems | May 23, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Nick Biltonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Damron, WillNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lagin, DanielDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Michel, ChristopherAuthor photographersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sergio, ChristopherCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
No man, for any considerable period,
can wear one face to himself, and another to the multitude,
without finally getting bewildered as to which may be true.

-- Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter
I did it for me.
I liked it.
I was good at it.
And I was really . . . I was alive.

-- Walter White, aka Heisenberg, Breaking Bad
Dedication
For my wife, Chrysta, and our sons, Somerset and Emerson.
I love all of you better than anyone in this big, big world.
First words
Pink. A tiny pink pill with an etching of a squirrel on either side.
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER. The unbelievable true story of the man who built a billion-dollar online drug empire from his bedroom--and almost got away with it   In 2011, a twenty-six-year-old libertarian programmer named Ross Ulbricht launched the ultimate free market: the Silk Road, a clandestine Web site hosted on the Dark Web where anyone could trade anything--drugs, hacking software, forged passports, counterfeit cash, poisons--free of the government's watchful eye.   It wasn't long before the media got wind of the new Web site where anyone--not just teenagers and weed dealers but terrorists and black hat hackers--could buy and sell contraband detection-free. Spurred by a public outcry, the federal government launched an epic two-year manhunt for the site's elusive proprietor, with no leads, no witnesses, and no clear jurisdiction. All the investigators knew was that whoever was running the site called himself the Dread Pirate Roberts.   The Silk Road quickly ballooned into $1.2 billion enterprise, and Ross embraced his new role as kingpin. He enlisted a loyal crew of allies in high and low places, all as addicted to the danger and thrill of running an illegal marketplace as their customers were to the heroin they sold. Through his network he got wind of the target on his back and took drastic steps to protect himself--including ordering a hit on a former employee. As Ross made plans to disappear forever, the Feds raced against the clock to catch a man they weren't sure even existed, searching for a needle in the haystack of the global Internet. Drawing on exclusive access to key players and two billion digital words and images Ross left behind, Vanity Fair correspondent and New York Times bestselling author Nick Bilton offers a tale filled with twists and turns, lucky breaks and unbelievable close calls. It's a story of the boy next door's ambition gone criminal, spurred on by the clash between the new world of libertarian-leaning, anonymous, decentralized Web advocates and the old world of government control, order, and the rule of law. Filled with unforgettable characters and capped by an astonishing climax, American Kingpin might be dismissed as too outrageous for fiction. But it's all too real.

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