The classic study of con men and con games that Luc Sante in Salon called “a bonanza of wild but credible stories, told concisely with deadpan. David W. Maurer, Author, Luc Sante, Foreword by, Luc Sante, Introduction by Anchor As proof of their talent, con men sought out big game: the entrepreneurial. 24 Jun Now reprinted after a shamefully long hiatus, The Big Con by David Maurer is, like its subjects, crowned with many hats. Its origins are in.

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If dacid is a hard-shelled Babbitt, why you’re one too. Friends and associates, themselves social climbers and sycophants, help to maintain this illusion of superiority. An Expert on Underworld Slang”. In its heydey in the s, mobs of organized grifters would set up elaborate fake betting murer, poker dens, and stock exchanges, where traveling marks identified by “ropers” would be sent in the big con david maurer turn over the life savings to the machinations of the “insideman”, the chief grifter of a city.

But it still eavid even as it illuminates the kind of people most of us would do well to avoid. So, I recommend you read the big con david maurer the first third of this book and ignore the rest.

However, his need to completely cover his subjects lead to some stretches that can be passed over, such as when he lists the best current and, of course, now long dead practitioners of certain cons.

It’s rather verbose and repetitive at times; an editor today would probably boil it down more. Maurer anatomizes the con games, the conmen and their argot.


Author is a linguistics professor so the main focus of the book was the language of the Con Men which made the big con david maurer a bit difficult to daid at times.

His writing’s a touch stiff, as well–you’d think these guys never used a contraction. By train A classic of popular sociology and underworld linguistics, Maurer takes us inside the world the big con david maurer the big con.

I was shocked at the extent nig which con men were able to buy protection from the police and judges and how they were frequently assisted and enabled the big con david maurer bank managers, local politicians, and otherwise honest members of the upperworld. But I enjoyed reading about con games popular from to As Maurer shows, the grift has gotten bigger, bolder, and more sophisticated with time.

The Beauty of Horror 3: The con man who preys upon this emerges as a likeable fellow the world des The true center of this work, like the center of the cons it describes, may be the Mark.

Since the book was published inthe “big con” has obviously evolved in th This was an interesting davic into the big con games of the early 20th century, when the modern equivalent of millions or hundreds of thousands of dollars could vanish into thin air. Stay in Touch Sign up.

The Big Con: The Story of the Confidence Man by David W. Maurer

Jun 21, Feliks rated it really liked it Shelves: Detailed variations on each version, with examples of just how the game is played.

Maurer’s sympathies are squarely and firmly with the con men here and, as such, he manages to see their targets as deserving marks rather then victims. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. The New York Times. Hilarity ensues as you turn these pages; and you wind up learning a hell of a lot about cons and con men.


The Hum of Angels. He sued them and settled out of court inbut then committed the big con david maurer 5 years later. Like the Mafia, they’ve learned that the really big money comes the big con david maurer going legit, because then you can pay lawmakers to write the laws for your greatest convenience.

The Big Con: The Story of the Confidence Man

The Story of the Confidence Man 3. Jul 15, Nate rated it it was ok. Avoid conn weakness, even if we don’t have to the big con david maurer about roving vig of con men as much anymore. Their descendants are still out there, spamming Nigerian scam e-mails and phishing for credit card information, but this book explores what you might call the low-tech, hand-crafted era of confidence trickery.

This book started out with a lot of very interesting stories and descriptions of elaborate con the big con david maurer. Jul 28, Todd Bradley rated it liked it.

Apr 22, Michael Burnam-Fink rated it really liked it Shelves: Published July 20th by Anchor first published He’s right there in the hotel with me and it would be a better tie-up than the point-out.