The Confidence Men

Margalit Fox brings her “nose for interesting facts, the ability to construct a taut narrative arc, and a Dickens-level gift for concisely conveying personality” (Kathryn Schulz, New York) to this tale of psychological strategy that is ...

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Author: Margalit Fox

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 9781984853868

Category: History

Page: 352

View: 839

The astonishing true story of two World War I prisoners who pulled off one of the most ingenious escapes of all time. “A wonder, a marvel, a feat of invention and dogged persistence, and most of all, a testament to the power of the human capacity to believe.”—Liza Mundy, author of Code Girls: The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers of World War II Imprisoned in a remote Turkish POW camp during World War I, having survived a two-month forced march and a terrifying shootout in the desert, two British officers, Harry Jones and Cedric Hill, join forces to bamboozle their iron-fisted captors. To stave off despair and boredom, Jones takes a handmade Ouija board and fakes elaborate séances for his fellow prisoners. Word gets around, and one day an Ottoman official approaches Jones with a query: Could Jones contact the spirit world to find a vast treasure rumored to be buried nearby? Jones, a trained lawyer, and Hill, a brilliant magician, use the Ouija board—and their keen understanding of the psychology of deception—to build a trap for their captors that will ultimately lead them to freedom. A gripping nonfiction thriller, The Confidence Men is the story of one of the only known con games played for a good cause—and of a profound but unlikely friendship. Had it not been for “the Great War,” Jones, the Oxford-educated son of a British lord, and Hill, a mechanic on an Australian sheep ranch, would never have met. But in pain, loneliness, hunger, and isolation, they formed a powerful emotional and intellectual alliance that saved both of their lives. Margalit Fox brings her “nose for interesting facts, the ability to construct a taut narrative arc, and a Dickens-level gift for concisely conveying personality” (Kathryn Schulz, New York) to this tale of psychological strategy that is rife with cunning, danger, and moments of high farce that rival anything in Catch-22.

Confidence Men and Painted Women

The confidence game was not simply a literary device intended to persuade young men not to consort with gamblers and dandies and pimps.

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Author: Karen Halttunen

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 0300037880

Category: Social Science

Page: 262

View: 754

Karen Halttunen draws a vivid picture of the social and cultural development of the upwardly mobile middle class, basing her study on a survey of the conduct manuals and fashion magazines of mid-nineteenth-century America. "An ingenious book: original, inventive, resourceful, and exciting. ... This book adds immeasurably to the current work on sentimental culture and American cultural history and brings to its task an inquisitive, fresh, and intelligent perspective. ... Essential reading for historians, literary critics, feminists, and cultural commentators who wish to study mid-nineteenth-century American culture and its relation to contemporary values."--Dianne F. Sadoff, American Quarterly "A compelling and beautifully developed study. ... Halttunen provides us with a subtle book that gently unfolds from her mastery of the subject and intelligent prose."--Paula S. Fass, Journal of Social History "Halttunen has done her homework--the research has been tremendous, the notes and bibliography are impressive, and the text is peppered with hundreds of quotes--and gives some real insight into an area of American culture and history where we might have never bothered to look."--John Hopkins, Times Literary Supplement "The kind of imaginative history that opens up new questions, that challenges conventional historical understanding, and demonstrates how provocative and exciting cultural history can be."--William R. Leach, The New England Quarterly "A stunning contribution to American cultural history."--Alan Trachtenberg

The Confidence Man

Set from the first American edition of 1857, this Modern Library paperback includes an Appendix with Bryant’s innovative “fluid text” analysis of early manuscript fragments from Melville’s novel.

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Author: Herman Melville

Publisher: Modern Library

ISBN: 9780307432087

Category: Fiction

Page: 384

View: 375

“In The Confidence-Man,” writes John Bryant in his Introduction, “Melville found a way to render our tragic sense of self and society through the comic strategies of the confidence game. He puts the reader in the game to play its parts and to contemplate the inconsistencies of its knaves and fools.” Set on a Mississippi steamer on April Fool’s Day and populated by a series of shape-shifting con men, The Confidence-Man is a challenging metaphysical and ethical exploration of antebellum American society. Set from the first American edition of 1857, this Modern Library paperback includes an Appendix with Bryant’s innovative “fluid text” analysis of early manuscript fragments from Melville’s novel.

The Confidence man

... Three of Melville's Confidence Men : William Cullen Bryant , Theodore Parker , and Horace Greeley , " Texas Studies in Literature and Language ...

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Author: Herman Melville

Publisher: Northwestern University Press

ISBN: 0810103257

Category: Fiction

Page: 518

View: 755

Presents a collection of the writings of Herman Melville.

The Confidence Man

AVATAR # 1 ( Doctor ) : If you want your Wife cured , Get her a jug of rum . Uniting
streams from Distant and opposite shores Pour forth in one GRAND ,
CONFIDENT , COSMOPOLITAN TIDE ! CONFIDENCE MAN ( Husband ) : Rum !
My wife ?

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Author: George Rochberg

Publisher:

ISBN: STANFORD:36105123683992

Category: Operas

Page: 32

View: 843

Confidence Men

In this gripping and brilliantly reported book, Ron Suskind tells the story of what happened next, as Wall Street struggled to save itself while a man with little experience and soaring rhetoric emerged from obscurity to usher in “a new ...

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Author: Ron Suskind

Publisher: Harper Collins

ISBN: 9780062225320

Category: History

Page: 528

View: 982

The hidden history of Wall Street and the White House comes down to a single, powerful, quintessentially American concept: confidence. Both centers of power, tapping brazen innovations over the past three decades, learned how to manufacture it. Until August 2007, when that confidence finally began to crumble. In this gripping and brilliantly reported book, Ron Suskind tells the story of what happened next, as Wall Street struggled to save itself while a man with little experience and soaring rhetoric emerged from obscurity to usher in “a new era of responsibility.” It is a story that follows the journey of Barack Obama, who rose as the country fell, and offers the first full portrait of his tumultuous presidency. Wall Street found that straying from long-standing principles of transparency, accountability, and fair dealing opened a path to stunning profits. Obama’s determination to reverse that trend was essential to his ascendance, especially when Wall Street collapsed during the fall of an election year and the two candidates could audition for the presidency by responding to a national crisis. But as he stood on the stage in Grant Park, a shudder went through Barack Obama. He would now have to command Washington, tame New York, and rescue the economy in the first real management job of his life. The new president surrounded himself with a team of seasoned players—like Rahm Emanuel, Larry Summers, and Tim Geithner—who had served a different president in a different time. As the nation’s crises deepened, Obama’s deputies often ignored the president’s decisions—“to protect him from himself”—while they fought to seize control of a rudderless White House. Bitter disputes—between men and women, policy and politics—ruled the day. The result was an administration that found itself overtaken by events as, year to year, Obama struggled to grow into the world’s toughest job and, in desperation, take control of his own administration. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ron Suskind intro-duces readers to an ensemble cast, from the titans of high finance to a new generation of reformers, from petulant congressmen and acerbic lobbyists to a tight circle of White House advisers—and, ultimately, to the president himself, as you’ve never before seen him. Based on hundreds of interviews and filled with piercing insights and startling disclosures, Confidence Men brings into focus the collusion and conflict between the nation’s two capitals—New York and Washington, one of private gain, the other of public purpose—in defining confidence and, thereby, charting America’s future.

Essays on Confidence Games and Confidence Men

This is a collection of essays, musings, ideas, and general thoughts on confidence games and confidence men.

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Author: Chris Roy

Publisher:

ISBN: 1716235928

Category:

Page: 112

View: 700

This is a collection of essays, musings, ideas, and general thoughts on confidence games and confidence men. Scams and the people who perpetrate them, swindlers, and confidence men can be studied, even casually, to gain a better understanding of what they do, how and why they do it. This book is a great supplemental reading or a tremendous first step for learning about the world of deception.

American Masculinities A Historical Encyclopedia

The confidence man—a man who takes advantage of people by gaining their ... the confidence man was ready to entice young men into an emerging urban ...

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Author: Bret Carroll

Publisher: SAGE Publications

ISBN: 9781452265711

Category: Social Science

Page: 576

View: 611

"This is a highly recommended purchase for undergraduate, medium-sized, and large public libraries wishing to provide a substantial introduction to the field of men's studies." --Reference & User Services Quarterly "Pleasing layout and good cross-references make Carroll's compendium a welcome addition to collections serving readers of all ages. Highly recommended." --CHOICE "An excellent index, well-chosen photographs and illustrations, and an extensive bibliography add further value. American Masculinities is well worth what would otherise be too hefty a price for many libraries because no other encyclopedia comes close to covering this growing field so well." --American Reference Books Annual American Masculinities: A Historical Encyclopedia is a first-of-its-kind reference, detailing developments in the growing field of men's studies. This up-to-date analytical review serves as a marker of how the field has evolved over the last decade, especially since the 1993 publication of Anthony Rotundo's American Manhood. This seminal book opened new vistas for exploration and research into American History, society, and culture. Weaving the fabric of American history, American Masculinities illustrates how American political leaders have often used the rhetoric of manliness to underscore the presumed moral righteousness and ostensibly protective purposes of their policies. Seeing U.S. history in terms of gender archetypes, readers will gain a richer and deeper understanding of America's democratic political system, domestic and foreign policies, and capitalist economic system, as well as the "private" sphere of the home and domestic life. The contributors to American Masculinities share the assumption that men's lives have been grounded fundamentally in gender, that is, in their awareness of themselves as males. Their approach goes beyond scholarship which traditionally looks at men (and women) in terms of what they do and how they have influenced a given field or era. Rather, this important work delves into the psychological core of manhood which is shaped not only by biology, but also by history, society, and culture. Encapsulating the current state of scholarly interpretation within the field of Men's Studies, American Masculinities: A Historical Encyclopedia is designed to help students and scholars advance their studies, develop new questions for research, and stimulate new ways of exploring the history of American life. Key Features - Reader's Guide facilitates browsing by topic and easy access to information - Extensive name, place, and concept index gives users an additional means of locating topics of interest - More than 250 entries, each with suggestions for further reading - Cross references direct users to related information - Comprehensive bibliography includes a list of sources organized by categories in the field Topics Covered - Arts, Literature, and Popular Culture - Body, Health, and Sexuality - Class, Ethnic, Racial, and Religious Identities - Concepts and Theories - Family and Fatherhood - General History - Icons and Symbols - Leisure and Work - Movements and Organizations - People - Political and Social Issues About the Editor Bret E. Carroll is Associate Professor of History at California State University, Stanislaus. He received his Ph.D. from Cornell University in 1991. He is author of The Routledge Historical Atlas of Religion in America (1997), Spiritualism in Antebellum America (1997), and several articles on nineteenth-century masculinity.

Men of the Underworld

The old - time confidence man picked his mark with great care , then skilfully
steered him into the trap . Approached by an obvious sharper , actually a
confederate of the confidence man , the victim and the " steerer ” would connive
secretly to ...

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Author: Charles Hamilton

Publisher:

ISBN: UCAL:B4351814

Category: Crime

Page: 336

View: 650

The Confidence Man

Set on a Mississippi steamer on April Fool's Day and populated by a series of shape-shifting con men, The Confidence-Man is a challenging metaphysical and ethical exploration of antebellum American society.

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Author: Herman Melville

Publisher: Tark Classic Fiction

ISBN: 1604503602

Category: Fiction

Page: 216

View: 425

His cheek was fair, his chin downy, his hair flaxen, his hat a white fur one, with a long fleecy nap. He had neither trunk, valise, carpet-bag, nor parcel. No porter followed him. He was unaccompanied by friends. From the shrugged shoulders, titters, whispers, wonderings of the crowd, it was plain that he was, in the extremest sense of the word, a stranger. - excerpt from 'THE CONFIDENCE MAN: His Masquerade'

Herman Melville

... is mirrored in the unusual and mysterious termination of The Confidence-Man. ... echoes the ceaseless repetition of the confidence men's tricks, ...

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Author: Katie McGettigan

Publisher: University of New Hampshire Press

ISBN: 9781512601381

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 288

View: 997

In this imaginative book, Katie McGettigan argues that Melville's novels and poetry demonstrate a sustained engagement with the physical, social, and economic materiality of industrial and commercial forms of print. Further, she shows that this "aesthetics of the material text," central both to Melville's stylistic signature and to his innovations in form, allows Melville to explore the production of selfhood, test the limits of narrative authenticity, and question the nature of artistic originality. Combining archival research in print and publishing history with close reading, McGettigan situates Melville's works alongside advertising materials, magazine articles, trade manuals, and British and American commentary on the literary industry to demonstrate how Melville's literary practice relies on and aestheticizes the specific conditions of literary production in which he worked. For Melville, the book is a physical object produced by particular technological processes, as well as an entity that manifests social and economic values. His characters carry books, write on them, and even sleep on them; they also imagine, observe, and participate in the buying and selling of books. Melville employs the book's print, paper, and binding - and its market circulations - to construct literary figures, to shape textual form, and to create irony and ambiguity. Exploring the printed book in Melville's writings brings neglected sections of his poetry and prose to the fore and invites new readings of familiar passages and images. These readings encourage a reassessment of Melville's career as shaped by his creative engagements with print, rather than his failures in the literary marketplace. McGettigan demonstrates that a sustained and deliberate imaginative dialogue with the material text is at the core of Melville's expressive practice and that, for Melville, the printed book served as a site for imagining the problems and possibilities of modernity.

Satire in Narrative

Melville also subverts allegorical signification through the problematic relation between the plurality of confidence men in the narrative and the title, ...

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Author: Frank Palmeri

Publisher: University of Texas Press

ISBN: 9780292741508

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 196

View: 298

Virtually all theories of satire define it as a criticism of contemporary society. Some argue that satire criticizes the present in favor of a standard of values that has been superseded, and thus that satire is generally backward-looking and conservative. While this is often true of poetic satire, in this study Frank Palmeri asserts that narrative satire performs a different function, that it parodies both the established view of the world and that of its opponents, offering its own distinctive critical perspective. This theory of satire builds on the idea of dialogical parody in the work of Russian theorist Mikhail Bakhtin, while revising Bakhtin's estimate of carnival. In Palmeri's view, the carnivalesque offers only an inverted mirror image of authoritative discourse, while parodic narrative satire suggests an alternative to both the official world and its inverted opposite. Palmeri applies this theory of narrative satire to five works of world literature, each of which has generated sharp controversy about the genre to which it rightly belongs: Petronius' Satyricon, Jonathan Swift's A Tale of a Tub, Edward Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Herman Melville's The Confidence-Man, and Thomas Pynchon's The Crying of Lot 49. He analyzes the features that link these works and shows how the changing pairs of alternatives that are parodied in these satires reflect changes in the terms of social and cultural oppositions. Satire in Narrative will appeal to comparatists, specialists in eighteenth-century and American literature, and others interested in theories of genre and the relations between literary forms and social history.

Making Men Making Class

D. C. Heath , 1987 ) , 89 , 96 ; Ryan , Cradle of the Middle - Class , 146–55 ; Lystra , Searching the Heart , 37-38 ; and Halttunen , Confidence Men and ...

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Author: Thomas Winter

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 0226902307

Category: History

Page: 208

View: 152

Acknowledgments1. The YMCA, Gender, Class, and Social Change, 1877-1920: An Introduction2. "A Zeal for Religious Work and an Open Door of Opportunity": YMCA Secretaries and Nineteenth-Century Ideals of Manhood3. "We Have Only to Step in and Occupy the Land": The YMCA, Labor Conflict, and the Rise of Welfare Capitalism4. "To Aid in the Upbuilding of Character": The YMCA, Welfare Capitalism, and a Language of Manhood5. "A Most Effective Ally in the Work of Labor Advancement": Workingmen and the YMCA6. "None of Your Milk-and-Water Sops, Flabby-Handed and Mealy-Mouthed, for Dealing with Such Men": The YMCA, the Secretaryship, and Professionalization7. Personality, Character, and Self-Expression: The YMCA and a Language of Manhood and ClassConclusionNotesBibliographyIndex Copyright © Libri GmbH. All rights reserved.

The Big Con

'Of all the gifters, the confidence man is the aristocrat, ' wrote David Maurer, a proposition he definitively proved in The Big Con.

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Author: David Maurer

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 9781446493175

Category: History

Page: 304

View: 725

'Of all the gifters, the confidence man is the aristocrat, ' wrote David Maurer, a proposition he definitively proved in The Big Con. A professor of linguistics who specialised in underworld argot, Maurer won the trust of hundreds of swindlers. They let him in on not simply their language, but their folkwrys and the astonishingly complex and elaborate schemes whereby unsuspecting marks, hooked by their own greed and dishonesty were 'taken off' - i. e. , cheated - of thousands upon thousands of dollars. The products of amazing ingenuity, crack timing and attention to every last detail, these 'big cons', as thoroughly scripted and rehearsed as any Hollywood production, richly deserve Maurer's description as 'the most effective swindling device which man has ever invented. ' The Big Con is a treasure trove of American lingo (the write, the rag, the pay-off, ropers, shills, the cold poke and the convincer) and indeliable characters (Yellow Kid Weil, Barney the Patch, the Seldom-Seen Kid, Limehouse Chappie and Larry the Lug). First published in 1940, The Big Con makes compelling reading whilst being the most authentic and utterly authoritative study on the con artist and his game.

A Political Companion to Herman Melville

The Confidence-Man consists of a series of encounters on a steamboat, ... Melville contrasts these confidence men with hardheaded empiricists, men of faith ...

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Author: Jason Frank

Publisher: University Press of Kentucky

ISBN: 9780813143880

Category: Political Science

Page: 456

View: 291

Herman Melville is widely considered to be one of America's greatest authors, and countless literary theorists and critics have studied his life and work. However, political theorists have tended to avoid Melville, turning rather to such contemporaries as Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau to understand the political thought of the American Renaissance. While Melville was not an activist in the traditional sense and his philosophy is notoriously difficult to categorize, his work is nevertheless deeply political in its own right. As editor Jason Frank notes in his introduction to A Political Companion to Herman Melville, Melville's writing "strikes a note of dissonance in the pre-established harmonies of the American political tradition." This unique volume explores Melville's politics by surveying the full range of his work -- from Typee (1846) to the posthumously published Billy Budd (1924). The contributors give historical context to Melville's writings and place him in conversation with political and theoretical debates, examining his relationship to transcendentalism and contemporary continental philosophy and addressing his work's relevance to topics such as nineteenth-century imperialism, twentieth-century legal theory, the anti-rent wars of the 1840s, and the civil rights movement. From these analyses emerges a new and challenging portrait of Melville as a political thinker of the first order, one that will establish his importance not only for nineteenth-century American political thought but also for political theory more broadly.

Southern Humanities Review

MELVILLE ' S THE CONFIDENCE - MAN AS SHIP OF PHILOSOPHERS By Fred
E . Brouwer Melville ' s long forgotten The Confidence - Man has become the
subject of much critical interest in the last quarter century . Acclaimed as Melville '
s ...

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Author:

Publisher:

ISBN: UOM:39015011535245

Category: Humanities

Page:

View: 519

Melville and Repose

In effect, we become confidence men. "The confidence man" is an American location for an ancient profession. The term was first used in 1849 to describe a ...

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Author: John Bryant

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0195360206

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 336

View: 895

John Bryant's book is a strong and significant argument for the centrality of the comic and repose in Melville's novels. The purpose of Melville and Repose is dual: to ground the uses of romantic humor in Melville in sensitive readings of contemporaneous European and American writings, and to offer a definitive account of the comic as the shaping force of Melville's narrative voice throughout the major phase of his literary career. Bryant argues that Melville fused a "rhetoric of geniality" and "picturesque sensibility" adopted from the British with a "rhetoric of deceit" borrowed from the American tall tale in order to create his own amiably cosmopolitan "rhetoric of aesthetic repose." Thorough research into American culture and recent Melville manuscript findings, an engaging style, and full, scholarly readings combine to make this historicist study a welcome addition to the libraries of Americanists and Melville scholars and enthusiasts.

Guarding Life s Dark Secrets

... another group of men who flourished in an atmosphere of mobility: confidence men. The confidence game (or con) refers to a cluster of new and inventive ...

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Author:

Publisher: Stanford University Press

ISBN: 0804763216

Category:

Page:

View: 771

The Comedian as Confidence Man

Concentrating on eight American literary and performing comedians from the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries, this study explores the irony fatigue affect that seems to pervade the work of comedians—those particular social observers who are ...

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Author: Will Kaufman

Publisher: Wayne State University Press

ISBN: 0814326579

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 270

View: 797

In this lively and fascinating analysis of humorists and their work, Will Kaufman breaks new ground with his irony fatigue theory. The Comedian as Confidence Man examines the humorist's internal conflict between the social critic who demands to be taken seriously and the comedian who never can be: the irony fatigue condition. Concentrating on eight American literary and performing comedians from the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries, this study explores the irony fatigue affect that seems to pervade the work of comedians—those particular social observers who are obliged to promise, "Only kidding, folks," even when they may not be; in G. B. Shaw's words, they must "put things in such a way as to make people who would otherwise hang them believe they are joking." If these social observers are obliged to become, in effect, confidence men, with irony as the satiric weapon that both attacks and diverts, then the implications are great for those social critics who above all wish to be heeded.