This book examines a broad range of infamous scams, cons, swindles, and hoaxes throughout American history—and considers why human gullibility continues in an age of easy access to information.
• Explores figures such as "Yellow Kid" Weil, Charles Ponzi, Orson Welles, and Frank Abagnale, among others
• Provides insight into human nature—gullibility being one aspect of it—throughout the ages, addresses the power of rumor and legend, and identifies the social conditions that have allowed some scams and hoaxes to flourish
• Presents information that can serve academic research projects as well as fascinate and entertain general readers
• Features the original stories behind the Hollywood movies The Sting, Catch Me If You Can, Argo, and American Hustle