By Ethan Dougherty
on 6.2.11

The Rockefeller name is about as close to American royalty as it gets. So you’d think if someone lied about being part of the family, it wouldn’t fly for very long. The Man in the Rockefeller Suit: The Astonishing Rise and Spectacular Fall of a Serial Imposter ($17) proves anything is possible given you’re a talented enough yarn spinner. Clark Rockefeller was the conned-persona of Christian Gerhartsreiter, a German who obsessed over coming to America at the age of 17. Dubious student visa documents helped get him in, and marrying young and bolting got him a green card. He spent the next 30 years assuming a variety of identities. Eventually he took up the name of Clark Rockefeller, managed to become a director at Boston’s exclusive’s Algonquin Club and married again, this time to a Harvard MBA and senior McKinsey exec for 12 years. Eventually his intelligent wife caught on, kicking off Gerhartsreiter’s downward spiral. We know we’re supposed to walk away from this book dutifully repeating that lying and crimes don’t pay off in the long run, but three decades worth of faux-success isn’t too shabby. It’s also entertaining as hell.

Buy Now: $17

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