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

The Big Con by David W. Maurer
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's review
Aug 16, 2009

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bookshelves: nonfiction
Read in August, 2009

Good stuff, though certainly a bit dated--the book was originally published in 1940, and Maurer was following cons that were at their peak in the teens and twenties. His writing's a touch stiff, as well--you'd think these guys never used a contraction. But the heart of it is still good--or rotten, depending on how you're looking at it. The psychology con men capitalize on is just the same as ever it was--if a mark's got larceny in his heart, then he's as ripe for a con today as he was in the 20s. As a bonus, you pick up enough antiquated con man argot that you could sound like you walked out of The Sting.

Recommended for those with a fascination with crime, especially grift, but not in the first line--this is something for those who want to add a bit of depth and history to their understanding of the subject.

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