Nick's Reviews > The Big Con: The Story of the Confidence Man

The Big Con by David W. Maurer
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May 14, 11

bookshelves: lowlifes-and-outlaws

David Maurer's The Big Con is a bona fide masterpiece of pre-WWII American criminal culture. A fascinating insider survey of the confidence game, its discreet origins and inimitable characters, as recorded by a streetwise linguist with deep access and an appreciably wry wit. Originally published in 1940, it should be essential reading to anyone with a sincere interest in historical lowlifes or the grift. This is right up there with You Can't Win, Education of a Felon, David Simon's Homicide, or anything by Joseph Mitchell, or Luc Sante. And now, I need to go re-watch The Sting.
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