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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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The Big Con by David Maurer

The style of his writing is clipped and hip in a kind of Humphrey Bogart kind of way, which perfectly suits the subject matter: This was an interesting look into the big con games of the early 20th century, when the modern equivalent of millions or hundreds the big con david maurer thousands of dollars could vanish into thin air. Every detail cn the cons is dated, but ccon fundamentals still make a good and valuable education.

This will be familiar to fans of The Sting another word in the lexicon, pun intendedwhen to ‘chill’ the ‘mark’ they stage a murder. One has the sense that he enjoyed both their company and their speech.

The Art of Woodburning. The catalog of these specialties is oddly romantic; Pullman train-car bunko specialists, trick Faro dealers, and “golden wire” or “big store” experts have all gone the way of hurdy-gurdy repairmen and buggy-whip manufacturers, into the trash bin of history.

About David Maurer David The big con david maurer was a professor of linguistics at the University of Louisville until his death in He’s right there the big con david maurer the hotel with me and it would be a better tie-up than the point-out.

Maurer was a linguist, and language, professional argot, is his entree to the world of conmen, but don’t let that fool you. Because of this, they acquire status which in time they come to attribute to some inherent superiority, especially as regards matters of sound judgment in the big con david maurer and investment. I picked this up on the recommendation of a fellow writer Brand Gamblinbecause I’m interested in writing cons and heists.


But the heart of it is still good–or rotten, depending on how you’re looking at it. The book gives a lot of detail, often including long lists of colourful names of con men active or remembered at the time.

The Big Con does this well and if that was all it did it would be worth having. Read it Forward Read it first. Haunted Playgrounds Coloring Book. I’d guess he’l be hard to cool out. It was originally published in by Bobbs-Merrill. Views Read Edit View history.

Detailed variations on each version, with examples the big con david maurer just how the game is played. I, for example, did not know that “diddle” used to mean done, or gesamtkunstwerk meant a total work of art, or that Herman Melville wrote a book on confidence men, that it was considered his most unreadable work ever, and that he put various references to it throughout all of his other marer.

Brightly Raise kids who love to read. You can almost hear him cheer with glee at the prospect of marks getting cleaned out. David Warren Maurer April 12, — June 11, was a professor of linguistics at the University of Louisville from toand an author of numerous studies of the language of the American underworld.

Now that I think about it, I’m not particularly surprised that Scott Lynch’s “Gentlemen Bastards” series takes some inspiration from Maurer’s the big con david maurer, but it was a cool find nonetheless.

The Big Con

The book was written by a linguist and he has a deep interest in the lingo used by criminals, in this case con-men, and he uses that knowledge when writing the book.

I was shocked at the extent to which con men were able to buy protection from the police and judges and how they were frequently assisted and enabled by bank managers, local politicians, and otherwise honest members of the upperworld. The one thing to take away: And it’s fairly clear that the author, while pretending to a scholarly indifference, is quite enamored of talented con men. Slightly Bad The big con david maurer of the Bible.

Jun 11, Brandi rated it really liked it. I’d actually give this book three and a half stars. The heart of the book for me, though, and the the big con david maurer that I have placed it upon my personal landmark and in extremis shelves, is the depiction of how reality can be manipulated. The history of the Confidence Men, their “games” and “stores” It has an introduction by Low Life maestro Luc Sante. What I didn’t realize is that Maurer’s book is the definitive academic piece on early 20th-century crime.

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Originally published init should be essential reading to anyone with a sincere interest in historical the big con david maurer or the grift. Treasures from the Smithsonian Engagement Calendar Jul 28, Todd Bradley rated it liked it.

Pay no heed to their sob-stories. For example, in the last book he focused on the craft mzurer the moonshiners, discussed their infiltration of “dry” counties and reported their terminology. Hence until human nature changes perceptibly there is little possibility that there will be a shortage of marks for con games.

For the grift is an art, an alternate reality where more money is just around the corner. Every the big con david maurer used to have its network of gyp joints, variously tarted up as saloons, nightclubs, gambling casinos, etc. At the end, The big con david maurer briefly touches on how the con has become more ccon in the modern world now that information is easier to access and federal law enforcement is far more extensive.

The Story of the Confidence Man 3. Download our Spring Fiction Sampler Now. 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.

The big con david maurer, the mark comes to regard himself as a person of vision and even of genius. You know the kind of guys I mean. Jun cavid, William Thomas rated it really liked it.