The Big Con by David Maurer
The Story of the Confidence Man

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Synopsis

Shares insights from confidence men and swindlers on the schemes they used to cheat their victims.
 

About David Maurer

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Luc Sante was born in Verviers, Belgium, and now lives in New York City. He is the author of "Evidence," "The Factory of Facts," and "Walker Evans," and his work has appeared in "The New York Review of Books," "The New Republic," and "Harper's," among other publications. He teaches writing and the history of photography at Bard College.
 
Published October 27, 2010 by Anchor. 337 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Political & Social Sciences, Crime, History, Education & Reference. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Big Con

Publishers Weekly

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Maurer first published this book, long out of print, in 1940, when he could see the dynamics of this kind of crime rapidly changing and the world of the original con man fading He embraced that world and devoured its schemes, its nuances and its language.

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AV Club

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The con job has thrived in every time and place the world has known, but a case can be made that the con as we know it was perfected in America with the advent of "the fix," the guarantee that the "mark" won't squeal to the cops.

Mar 29 2002 | Read Full Review of The Big Con: The Story of the...

Austin Chronicle

What makes this definitive study so fascinating is that it describes how people allow themselves to be conned, how they let their vanities and obsessions make them easy pickins for the likes of the Waco kid.

Nov 12 1999 | Read Full Review of The Big Con: The Story of the...

The New York Review of Books

The kind of fieldwork he engaged in, as the linguist Stuart Berg Flexner, a former student of Maurer’s, pointed out, “takes a great deal of physical stamina and a strong personality, as well as mental ability.” It didn’t hurt that Maurer was “big, with large shoulders and strong arms and hands, a...

Jun 24 1999 | Read Full Review of The Big Con: The Story of the...

The Paris Review

Take, for example, the Chicago con man Joseph “Yellow Kid” Weil, who claimed to have stolen more than eight million dollars from assorted marks, as victims in the con game are known, during a career that spanned more than half a century.

Mar 19 2012 | Read Full Review of The Big Con: The Story of the...

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