The Big Con

ebook Great Hoaxes, Frauds, Grifts, and Swindles in American History

By Nate Hendley

cover image of The Big Con

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Covering American cons and hoaxes past and present, including the Great Moon Hoax of 1835, the controversy over "subliminal messaging" (do bands, filmmakers, and advertisers really put secret messages in their works?), the panic about "satanic" daycare operators in the 1980s, and recent Internet scams, this book provides a fascinating, fact-based look at infamous frauds across the centuries. Offering an engaging mix of history, sociology, and psychology, author Nate Hendley gives readers an appreciation of how prominent scams, cons, "confidence men," and hoaxes have impacted American society, past and present.

Each entry details the scheme or hoax and the pertinent con artist/schemer involved, examining the sociological, cultural, political, and/or economic effect of the scams. Each topic is accompanied by a short bibliography of further reading selections. As the old saying goes, "There is a sucker born every minute"—and there has always been a keen-eyed swindler to take advantage of the situation. The Big Con: Great Hoaxes, Frauds, Grifts, and Swindles in American History explores this sordid underbelly of American civilization and invites readers to revel in the felonious experience.

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The Big Con