Brimming with astonishing, little-known, and elaborate practical jokes and money-making schemes, Hoaxes and Scares is the last word on notorious put-ons throughout history. In a handy A-to-Z format, it documents such deceptions as John Quincy Adams's nude press conference, Clifford Irving's "autobiography" of Howard Hughes, Hitler's diaries, and hundreds more.
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Sifakis is responsible for numerous books on crime, eccentrics, assassinations, and gambling. Calling this volume "an alphabetical grab bag," he concentrates on hoaxes and scams. There is some overlap with his other works. At least 55 of the more than 700 entries in Hoaxes appeared in his Encyclopedia of American Crime (Facts On File, 1981).
In this latest work, the reader will find entries on medical quackery, art forgeries, and such famous fakes as Big Foot, Piltdown Man, and the Tasaday Tribe. Entries on con men have descriptions of how they scam their "mooches" or "marks." Everyday swindles, such as 50 automobile ploys by repair shops and service stations and such computer viruses as Michelangelo, are found next to Gulf War scams and real estate swindles. Sifakis has excluded subjects that might prove controversial. There is no mention of UFOs or such religious figures as the Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh.
Entries are arranged alphabetically in natural phrases such as Kangaroo Monster Who Terrorized Tennessee. Occasionally there are see references from natural-language subject entries to perpetrators, for instance, "Ancient Coin Forgery--see Becker, Carl Wilhelm." There are two indexes, one for personalities and one for subjects, but most people will use this book for browsing. A selected bibliography contains only those works that contain stories the author claims to have verified independently. Black-and-white illustrations add interest.
Nonreference works in this vein are M. Allen Henderson's Rip-Offs, Cons, and Swindles (Paladin, 1986), which draws from news accounts of contemporary scams, and Jay Robert Nash's Hustlers and Con Men (Evans, 1976). This type of work is full of good-natured flimflam and avuncular advice on how to avoid scams. Hoaxes and Scams will provide many hours of entertainment in public libraries.From School Library Journal:
YA-An encyclopedia of the planned and unplanned fraudulent claims that have been accepted throughout history. Presenting famous, infamous, innocent, and little-known incidents, as well as false quotations, Sifakis provides information that is difficult to locate elsewhere. Concise, well-written entries give the history of the deceits, why the public was vulnerable to them, and their effects. Cartoons, diagrams, and black-and-white photographs add interest. It is disappointing that the author didn't cite all of his sources-readers have to take it on trust that they are not victims of yet another hoax-but a bibliography is included. People and subjects are indexed. This volume will appeal to teens intrigued by crime and deception.
Claudia Moore, W.T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Descripción Michael O'Mara Books Ltd, 1994. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: Good. A slight tan to page edges Good condition is defined as: a copy that has been read but remains in clean condition. All of the pages are intact and the cover is intact and the spine may show signs of wear. The book may have minor markings which are not specifically mentioned. Most items will be dispatched the same or the next working day. Nº de ref. de la librería mon0007916917
Descripción Michael O'Mara Books, 1994. hardback. Estado de conservación: Very Good. hardback, pictorial laminated boards, a very good copy in a very good dust wrapper, b&w illustrations, 291pp, ISBN:1854799037. Nº de ref. de la librería 158461
Descripción Michael O'Mara Books, 1994. Hardcover / Hardback. Estado de conservación: Fine. Estado de la sobrecubierta: Fine. First edition. Hardback. Featuring an exhaustive collection of the world's most devilish money-making schemes and elaborate practical jokes. The book details the origins and methods of numerous classic scams - from the age-old shell game to cash machine swindles of today - and supplies biographical information on a range of shady characters who took advantage of the avaricious and the gullible for years, including notorious imposters (Count Alessandro di Cagliostro), master swindlers (Charles Ponzi and "Yellow Kid" Weil), brilliant forgers (Louis Marcy) and renowned spiritualist fakers (Daniel D. Home and the Fox sisters). Here's just a sampling of the slippery dealings and ruses investigated : Mass-produced Millet and Corot art forgeries; musical masterpieces "discovered" by Fritz Kreisler; mysterious sightings of Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster; phony snake-oil cures for arthritis; the real authors of "Hitler Diaries"; reports of wild animals ravaging New York City; rumours of Paul McCartney's "death" plus much, much more. Illus. 293pp. 4to. h/back. From the library of true crime writer, Wilfred Gregg, with his personal b/plate. F. in F. dw. A fairly heavy book which will require additional postage. Nº de ref. de la librería 16843