Book Launch: Financial Fraud and Guerrilla Violence in Missouri's Civil War, 1861-1865



26 July 2010

Mark W. Geiger is a postdoctoral fellow at the US Studies Centre. Financial Fraud and Guerrilla Violence in Missouri's Civil War, 1861-1865 is his first book. His dissertation, on which the book is based, received Columbia University's Nevins Prize, awarded by the Economic History Association. Geiger's book was launched at an event at the University of Sydney by The Honourable Bob Carr.

Book reviews:

“In this remarkable book, Mark Geiger uncovers an audacious financial conspiracy that has eluded previous historians, to divert funds from Missouri banks to arm rebel military forces at the outbreak of the Civil War.  The disastrous consequences stretched far into the postwar era, as documented by Geiger's meticulous research.  This is first-rate economic and social history, and a cracking good story."—Gavin Wright, Stanford University

“This is one of the finest monographs on the Civil War I have read in twenty-five years. No one knew about the financial frauds underlying Missouri's guerrilla problem until Geiger discovered the evidence in obscure county court records and reached his astounding conclusions. This is an important book, period.”— Mark E. Neely, Jr., Pennsylvania State University, and winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Abraham Lincoln and the Fate of Civil Liberties

“This study bridges financial, political, social, and Civil War history in an exciting, creative way. Geiger shows how both North and South financed the Civil War in its early stages, maps the market revolution in Missouri, and explains the vigor of the state’s guerilla movement and the failure of its planters to reestablish their dominance.”—Naomi R. Lamoreaux, Yale University, and President of the Economic History Association

"In American memory, the Civil War was fought on fields of honor. Yet far from Gettysburg and Shiloh, a bitter guerrilla conflict turned neighbor against neighbor. Now Mark Geiger’s startlingly original research provides a provocative new perspective on Missouri's Civil War. A fascinating study that historians will find impossible to ignore."—T.J. Stiles, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award for The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt


  • Dr Mark Geiger
    Postdoctoral Fellow, US Studies Centre

    Mark W. Geiger was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the US Studies Centre in 2010. Geiger received PhD from the University of Missouri in 2006. In 2007, his dissertation won the University of Missouri's Distinguished Dissertation Award and the Nevins Prize for best dissertation in North American economic history, awarded by the Economic History Association. In 2010, Yale University Press published his book, Financial Fraud and Guerrilla Violence in Missouri's Civil War, 1861-1865, in the press's Series in Economic and Financial History. The book explores a previously unknown Civil War-era conspiracy that backfired on its participants, devastating Missouri's slaveholding elite and causing a revolution in land ownership.