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John J. O'Connor

Broadway Racketeers

Broadway Racketeers

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New York in the early 1900s was awash in scoundrels and confidence men (and women) who took advantage of “suckers” for hundreds and thousands of dollars. O’Connor classifies the most prominent cons and the hucksters who played the game in this fascinating guide to the racketeers of Broadway. Dice cheats, religious trinket sales, “puff” piece sales, counterfeit cash passers, blackmailers, and more are among the shady characters described. Often, victims were too proud to call the cops, or were doing something illegal themselves when they got cheated, so the racketeers knew they had a better than even chance of getting away. These are the criminous roots of modern-day financial scams, and worth reading to keep ourselves from falling for similar cons that crop up today.


First published in 1928.

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