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Hot Air Promotions - An Autobiography of a Mining and Oil Stock Sucker

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"There's a Sucker Born Every Minute," thought to be contributed by P. T. Barnum was actually uttered by a competitor of the Barnum & Bailey Circus. While he was referring to the customers of that famous circus, the saying could certainly be attributed equally to that period of time when mining and oil stocks were exploding on the exchanges early in the first and second dec "There's a Sucker Born Every Minute," thought to be contributed by P. T. Barnum was actually uttered by a competitor of the Barnum & Bailey Circus. While he was referring to the customers of that famous circus, the saying could certainly be attributed equally to that period of time when mining and oil stocks were exploding on the exchanges early in the first and second decade of the 1900's. Gold and silver mines (both real and paper) were capturing interest in investment popularity and touted every day as well as this country's fledgling oil discoveries. The west was being heavily mined and there were unlimited opportunities to place hard-earned dollars in the hopes of reaping many thousands in return. This autobiographical account written almost 80 years ago follows the crazy roller-coaster ride of a mining stock gambler on a get-rich quick plan from early 1900 through the first world war, post-crash, and depression. But back then you couldn't help but win big! Right?


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"There's a Sucker Born Every Minute," thought to be contributed by P. T. Barnum was actually uttered by a competitor of the Barnum & Bailey Circus. While he was referring to the customers of that famous circus, the saying could certainly be attributed equally to that period of time when mining and oil stocks were exploding on the exchanges early in the first and second dec "There's a Sucker Born Every Minute," thought to be contributed by P. T. Barnum was actually uttered by a competitor of the Barnum & Bailey Circus. While he was referring to the customers of that famous circus, the saying could certainly be attributed equally to that period of time when mining and oil stocks were exploding on the exchanges early in the first and second decade of the 1900's. Gold and silver mines (both real and paper) were capturing interest in investment popularity and touted every day as well as this country's fledgling oil discoveries. The west was being heavily mined and there were unlimited opportunities to place hard-earned dollars in the hopes of reaping many thousands in return. This autobiographical account written almost 80 years ago follows the crazy roller-coaster ride of a mining stock gambler on a get-rich quick plan from early 1900 through the first world war, post-crash, and depression. But back then you couldn't help but win big! Right?

35 review for Hot Air Promotions - An Autobiography of a Mining and Oil Stock Sucker

  1. 5 out of 5

    Ian Hunter

    You might think autobiographies make for rather dull reading, but in the case of this author, at least, you would be wrong. As a young kid, he sails the world on a boat that ultimately sinks and claims all the lives of everyone on board except for him, including the lives of his parents. That alone would destroy most people. But he returns to the sea, where he will be shipwrecked again and again. After many years of a rollicking life on the high-seas, he ventures into mining, joining the gold r You might think autobiographies make for rather dull reading, but in the case of this author, at least, you would be wrong. As a young kid, he sails the world on a boat that ultimately sinks and claims all the lives of everyone on board except for him, including the lives of his parents. That alone would destroy most people. But he returns to the sea, where he will be shipwrecked again and again. After many years of a rollicking life on the high-seas, he ventures into mining, joining the gold rush when there was money to be made. Although he freely admits that he didn’t exactly hit the market in its prime. Making not one but several fortunes, only to lose them time and again, he returns along with his friends to the gold and silver mines many times over in hopes of finally getting a nest egg that won’t be stolen from him. The life I’ve described to you, so far, is as hard and as fraught with adventure as any, but our hero and his pals are in their element, and so despite the odds, they do rather well. It’s literally the stuff that period movies are made of. When our hero and his friends set upon their next adventures, however, this is where they start to get out of their depths. And so, this is where they start to get into real trouble. Our hero, Stanley McShane, takes us through the early days of the stock market, where “there’s a sucker born every minute.” Our naïve investors, fresh from digging riches out of the gold and silver mines, are keen to double and triple their money with stock investments. Each time, they lose their shirts to scrupulous con artists. Each time, they go back to the mine and earn more money, determined this time not to be taken. And they do smarten up. With each round of having their money snatched from their hands, they get wise to the schemes, the way the other side thinks. They come in to the next situation all the more forearmed and forewarned. But it doesn’t seem to matter how much smarter they get, the other side always has a con they’re blind to, is always better at reading their tells than they are their adversaries’, always better at pushing their buttons than they are at playing the bad guys off one another. You can’t help rooting for Stanley and his pals because they are so determined to make good despite all obstacles; as the proverbial underdogs, they face off against impossible odds with determination, tenacity and, most of all, a big heart. Theirs is a battle between the soulful against the soulless. As difficult as it was to watch our heroes get swindled again and again, I rejoiced with these guys in the things that really matter, their ability to appreciate the elements of life that seem lost on the bad guys, and Stanley and his friends’ determination to enjoy all of life’s pleasures. Up and down in their luck, repeatedly, they continue to climb out of the valleys of despair and self-recriminations that come with each defeat again and again, like children reborn to face the world anew, with fresh eyes. Their shining spirits—which no amount of experience seems to tarnish—makes them lousy stock market gamblers, but it makes them graduate students when it comes to all that’s important in life. You could read Hot Air Promotions as a remarkable tale of a larger than life hero who is, all the same, not at all made up. You could read it as a choice piece of historical fiction. Or you could read it as a parable for our times, because I found the schemers they were up against very reminiscent of the power brokers of today who continue to ensnare us in their short and long cons. Maybe the stage has shifted to the corporate world, and maybe the con artists of today are all the more hidden behind intermediary players so as not to put a face or a target on the very evil that needs to be eradicated from society. But the nature of the game, sadly, really hasn’t changed. Which makes this book as valid a primer for how to survive in the trenches today as ever. And maybe the lessons are more easily absorbed precisely because they’re coming at you in the guise of period fiction, putting a century or more between you and the truth as a buffer. Any of these reasons by themselves would be compelling enough reason to read the book. And taken together, the tale becomes even more magnetic. But with all that, I can’t say it’s why I continue to enjoy this author. I believe in my case it’s his spirit that hypnotizes me. I don’t think I’ve met a hero (fictional or otherwise) with quite the same combination of heart and humor, a thirst for adventure, and a determination to see the world always through the fresh eyes of an unspoiled soul as Stanley McShane.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Tammy Downing

    This is the true story of a man and his mining partner who gets sucked into the world of worthless stocks. They keep getting suckered into buying BS stocks on non-existent mines and lose money hand over fist. They remain honest and true friends. I am so glad I won this book through Goodreads First Reads context.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Alice

    Thank you GoodReads :) Also, Thank you Stanley McShane for sharing your Dad's story. It was a well written and very entertaining book. I would read it again and will reccommend it to my friends:) Thank you GoodReads :) Also, Thank you Stanley McShane for sharing your Dad's story. It was a well written and very entertaining book. I would read it again and will reccommend it to my friends:)

  4. 5 out of 5

    Stanley McShane

    My grandfather wrote this book back in the 1930's when he tapped his manuscript out with his two index fingers on an ancient Underwood. Earlier in his youth, Rose (McShane) had caught the gold bug and traveled north to Alaska after he stepped foot off the last ship he sailed. From there, he looked for gold in California, Nevada, and Arizona. Failing the discovery of a life-changing gold mine, he traveled back to San Francisco and began the long risky road of mining stock investments back in earl My grandfather wrote this book back in the 1930's when he tapped his manuscript out with his two index fingers on an ancient Underwood. Earlier in his youth, Rose (McShane) had caught the gold bug and traveled north to Alaska after he stepped foot off the last ship he sailed. From there, he looked for gold in California, Nevada, and Arizona. Failing the discovery of a life-changing gold mine, he traveled back to San Francisco and began the long risky road of mining stock investments back in early 1930 from the San Francisco Mining Stock Exchange. Having researched the characters, locations, and conditions of the era, it was apparent these were extraordinary circumstances and people. Some have long documented histories and indeed in the case of one man in particular changed the course of Nevada government. Historical narration but the lesson serves as well today. Recommended, sometimes humorous read.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Billie jo smith

  6. 5 out of 5

    Lucas

  7. 5 out of 5

    Pam

  8. 5 out of 5

    Teresa Lavender

  9. 5 out of 5

    Cindy Gates

  10. 5 out of 5

    Julie Hutchinson

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sue

  12. 5 out of 5

    Barbara Zitsch

  13. 5 out of 5

    Barry

  14. 5 out of 5

    Karen Supinger

  15. 5 out of 5

    Joshua Scheibe

  16. 4 out of 5

    Robert Piacquad

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kim Coomey

  18. 4 out of 5

    Tasha

  19. 5 out of 5

    Frederick Rotzien

  20. 4 out of 5

    Alexandria Matson

  21. 4 out of 5

    Scott

  22. 5 out of 5

    Max

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kathy Lavoie

  24. 4 out of 5

    Mario Aguilar

  25. 4 out of 5

    Misty

  26. 4 out of 5

    Erin

  27. 5 out of 5

    Aya

  28. 5 out of 5

    Joyce Yanney

  29. 4 out of 5

    Sue Lerner

  30. 5 out of 5

    Darcee Kraus

  31. 4 out of 5

    Kaitlin Inman

  32. 5 out of 5

    Christi Johnson

  33. 4 out of 5

    Dean

  34. 5 out of 5

    Larry

  35. 5 out of 5

    Jeannette

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