These are the questions that journalist and psychologist Maria Konnikova tackles in her mesmerizing new book.From multimillion-dollar Ponzi schemes to small-time frauds, Konnikova pulls together a selection of fascinating stories to demonstrate what all cons share in common, drawing on scientific, dramatic, and psychological perspectives. Insightful and gripping, the book brings readers into the world of the con, examining the relationship between artist and victim. It’s a startling and disconcerting read that should make you think twice every time a friend of a friend offers you the opportunity of a lifetime.


And here’s the irony—the smarter you think you are, the more readily you’ll fall, which is why New Yorkers are some of the easiest marks. Maria Konnikova is a superb storyteller and her tales of conmen and their victims will blow your mind. The Confidence Game is a masterful exploration of human psychology—Konnikova uses the art of the con to explore some striking claims about kindness and cruelty, memory and reputation, the power of stories, and the very nature of the self. This is a brilliant and often unsettling book, and it leaves me with mixed feelings—I’d like everyone to read it, but at the same time, it scares me to think of it falling into the wrong hands.





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