Atlantic Monthly Press
New York, NY 10003
BRETT D. FROMSON was chief markets writer for TheStreet.com. Previously, he covered Wall Street and finance for The Washington Post and Fortune magazine. Fromson is the general partner of The Margin of Safety Fund, a value-oriented private investment partnership. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Monthly.
THE INSIDE STORY OF THE RICHEST INDIAN TRIBE IN HISTORY
"A brilliantly told story of bravado and cunning, played out by an amazing set of character. You'll root for Skip Hayward as he creates the Pequot nation out of almost nothing and turns a ragtag group of the dispossessed into the wealthiest Indian tribe imaginable. But casino money turns out to be more corrosive than anyone realizes. Brett Duval Fromson's narrative will make you laugh out loud, sputter with indignation - and demand that our children be taught this astonishing chapter of american history."
George Anders, Author of of Perfect Enough:
Carly Fiorina and the Reinvention of Hewlett-Packard.
In 1635, the first Puritans migrated from Massachusetts Bay to the Colony of Connecticut. By 1637, Puritan settlers in Connecticut were at war with Pequot Indian tribe. In retaliation for a Pequot raid, Captain John Mason led an assembled militia of English and Indian allies in a predawn attack on a Pequot fort that left over four hundred Pequots dead. Within two years, the Pequot tribe was all but extinguished, and would remain that way for the next 350 years.
Then in 1973, the last remaining descendant of the Pequots to live on the tribal reservation, Elizabeth George Plouffe, passed away, but not before imparting advice to her grandson Richard "Skip" Haywood: "Hold on to the land." These words would manifest themselves into an almost thirty-year legal and political drama that would lead Hayward and his relatives to re-create the Pequot tribe and become the richest Indians in history. How it happened is the subject of Brett Duval Fromson's Hitting the Jackpot. The culmination of a three-year investigation, Fromson uncovers a labyrinthine tale of legal maneuverings, back-room political dealings, and ethnic reinvention. Fromson details the step-by-step process by which today's Pequots gained tribal recognition, hired top lawyers to claim thousands of acres of land, exploited a state law meant for church yard sales to gain the right to open Foxwoods, now a $1.2-billion-a-year operation, and distilled the barest traces of Pequot lineage into a full-fledged tribe with over six hundred new tribal members, a yearly pow-wow that offers the biggest cash prizes in America, and a $250 million museum, one of the costliest in American history.
As controversy over Indian casino gambling sweeps across the United States, Hitting the Jackpot is bracing work of investigative journalism into the lucrative world of Indian casino gambling that reveals the true story of how the Mashantucket Pequots of Connecticut became the richest Indian tribe in history.