Found 3 comments on HN
smacktoward · 2016-06-20 · Original thread
If this subject interests you, I cannot recommend highly enough David Maurer's classic book "The Big Con," (https://www.amazon.com/Big-Con-Story-Confidence-Man/dp/03854...) published in 1940.

Its subject is the early 20th century confidence man rather than that of the 19th, but it's full of rich detail both on the types of cons that were being run in that era and the personalities of the people who ran them. And its prose is so well-crafted that it reads like a contemporary book, despite being more than 75 years old now. It's such a fun book to read.

If you want to read the story where the "founder" gets the money, then skips town and spends the money on hookers and booze, you need to talk to other folks than Ira Ritter:

http://www.amazon.com/Big-Story-Confidence-Man/dp/0385495382

The stories in The Big Con demonstrate convincingly that businessmen will, in fact, often just give you money if you ask them for it while wearing the right kind of suit.

Wow, further evidence that the most important tech book I ever read was Maurer's The Big Con:

http://www.amazon.com/Big-Con-Story-Confidence-Man/dp/038549...

I keep waiting for an enterprising Nigerian journalist to write the 419-scammer version of this book.

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