The Con Men: Hustling in New York City by Terry WilliamsThe Con Men: Hustling in New York City by Terry Williams

The Con Men: Hustling in New York City

byTerry Williams, Trevor Milton

Hardcover | November 10, 2015

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This vivid account of hustling in New York City explores the sociological reasons why con artists play their game and the psychological tricks they use to win it. Terry Williams and Trevor B. Milton, two prominent sociologists and ethnographers, spent years with New York con artists to uncover their secrets. The result is an unprecedented view into how con games operate, whether in back alleys and side streets or in police precincts and Wall Street boiler rooms. Whether it's selling bootleg goods, playing the numbers, squatting rent-free, scamming tourists with bogus stories, selling knockoffs on Canal Street, or crafting Ponzi schemes, con artists use verbal persuasion, physical misdirection, and sheer charm to convince others to do what they want. Williams and Milton examine this act of performance art and find meaning in its methods to exact bounty from unsuspecting tourists and ordinary New Yorkers alike. Through their sophisticated exploration of the personal experiences and influences that create a successful hustler, they build a portrait of unusual emotional and psychological depth. Their work also offers a new take on structure and opportunity, showing how the city's unique urban and social architecture lends itself to the perfect con.

Terry Williams is a professor of sociology at the New School for Social Research. He specializes in teenage life and culture, drug abuse, crews and gangs, and violence and urban social policy. He is the author of The Cocaine Kids: The Inside Story of a Teenage Drug Ring; The Uptown Kids: Hope and Struggle in the Projects; and Crackhou...
Title:The Con Men: Hustling in New York CityFormat:HardcoverDimensions:288 pagesPublished:November 10, 2015Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0231170823

ISBN - 13:9780231170826

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Table of Contents

AcknowledgmentsIntroduction1. Alibi: Portrait of a Con Man2. City Cons and Hustles3. The Con Crew4. The Con Game as Street Theater5. Petty Street Hustles6. Canal Street as Venus Flytrap7. The Numbers Game8. New York Tenant Hustles9. A Drug Hustle: The Crack Game10. NYPD and the Finest Cons11. Wall Street ConsEpilogueNotesGlossaryBibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

A fascinating look at the New York underworld. Integrating history, social psychology and sociology, the authors provide an educated lens to examine some of the oldest cons in Manhattan, perpetuated by the hands of career schemers, counterfeiters, drug dealers and even the men and women in blue. It is an eye-opening initiation to the uninformed or the curious.