The Story of the Confidence Man and the Confidence Trick.
Once upon a time, they could be found in every hotel lobby, on every cruise liner, in every Pullman car. They were looking for the rich, the greedy and the vain.
They were the master criminals and the greatest actors of their age. They played their lines to perfection, enlisting hundreds of extras to lull their marks: their sets were elaborately constructed betting shops or dealing rooms, their plot the subtle mechanics of the wire, the pay-off and the rag. They fleeced their victims of millions with audacious sleights of hand.
This is the story of that aristocracy of crime: of the great con men such as Charley Gondorff, the Yellow Kid Weil, Limehouse Chappie, the High Ass Kid, Slobbering Bob and Fred the Florist.
'The Big Con' is the classic account of the method of the con man and the con trick and its unique language. It brings back the lost epoch of the first part of the twentieth century; its danger, glamour and twisted morality.