The Con Men: Hustling in New York City

The Con Men: Hustling in New York City

If nothing else than to appreciate the dedication of two sociologists who spent years following New York City con artists uncovering their secrets, this book by Williams and Milton follows in the precendent of many of their other projects in that it is immense and thoroughly researched. The Con Men: Hustling in New York City reads like the script to a reality television show and anyone who has not studied the psychology of con artists is in for a surprise with this book.

Though many of the stories are fascinating and will sound shocking, the real gem in this work is that the reader can walk away with a deeper understanding of both human emotion and psychology and how they interact with one’s environment. You’ll discover how we are all tempted to cut corners and how the common man, in addition to large companies and enterprises like Enron, Tyco and Madoff can all be susceptible to hustling. Only through understanding the psychology of the con artist and how human nature can protect or destroy you in moments of opportunity or potential downfall can one hope to navigate a world that “exists only in the realities we tell each other.”

This is certainly one of the more eccentric books on my list this month but a fun and easy read with moments of reflection in the stories and understandings of the human psyche and how you might be better prepared to face a world that does not always wish you well.

Worked at Burleson Orthodontics. Attended University of Missouri–Kansas City. Lives in Kansas City, Missouri.

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