The Big Con

The Big Con: The Story of the Confidence Man by David W. MaurerĀ (1940)

The Big Con

Non-Fiction | Crime | Americana4.5 starsBlurb:

“Of all the grifters, the confidence man is the aristocrat,” wrote David Maurer, a proposition he definitively proved in The Big Con, one of the most colorful, well-researched, and entertaining works of criminology, ever written. A professor of linguistics who specialized in underworld argot. Maurer won the trust of hundreds of swindlers who let him in on not simply their language, but their folkways and the astonishingly complex and elaborate schemes whereby unsuspecting marks, hooked by their own greed and dishonesty, were “taken off” — i.e., cheated — of thousands upon thousands of dollars. The products of amazing ingenuity, crack timing, and attention to every last detail, these “big cons” richly deserve Maurer’s description as “the most effective swindling device which man has ever invented.” Continue reading