Paper Moon, The Sting, American Hustle, The Grifters, House of Games, The Matchstick Men; just a few of the movies we love about con men and hustlers. Yet in real life, we don’t love the likes of Bernie Madoff, or Barry Minkow, or Steven Kunes or Charles Ponzi.
So why the disconnect? Why do we feel joy in being taken in by movie con men, but not so much by the real thing? The answer may very well lie in what a con man does and what he or she is. How they appear and how they try and manipulate us. Unfortunately the line between con men and salesmen and politicians is fine one. Maria Konnikova shows us the tricks in The Confidence Game: Why We Fall for It . . . Every Time.