A Treasury of Deception: Liars, Misleaders, Hoodwinkers, and the Extraordinary True Stories of History's

Overview

We may say that honesty is the best policy, but history—to say nothing of business, politics, and the media—suggests otherwise. In this infinitely citable book, the author of two bestselling treasuries of scandal recounts some of the greatest deceptions of all time. With what forged document did the Vatican lay claim to much of Europe? Who wrote Hitler’s diaries? Why do millions still believe the vague doggerel that Nostradamus passed off as prophecy? Organizing his material by theme (con artists, the press, ...

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A Treasury of Deception: Liars, Misleaders, Hoodwinkers, and the Extraordinary True Stories of History's

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Overview

We may say that honesty is the best policy, but history—to say nothing of business, politics, and the media—suggests otherwise. In this infinitely citable book, the author of two bestselling treasuries of scandal recounts some of the greatest deceptions of all time. With what forged document did the Vatican lay claim to much of Europe? Who wrote Hitler’s diaries? Why do millions still believe the vague doggerel that Nostradamus passed off as prophecy? Organizing his material by theme (con artists, the press, military trickery, scientific fraud, imposters, great escapes, and more), Michael Farquhar takes in everything from the hoodwinking of Hitler to Vincent “the Chin” Gigante’s thirty-year crazy act.

A Treasury of Deception is a zestful, gossipy exposé—and celebration—of mendacity.

A Treasury of Deception also includes:

  • Ten tricksters from scripture
  • Ten great liars in literature
  • Ten egregious examples of modern American doublespeak
  • Ten classic deceptions from Greek mythology
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Some authors revel in heroic acts and breathtaking achievements; Michael Farquhar prefers miscreants. In A Treasury of Great American Scandals, he led us on a tour through the dark side of American history. In A Treasury of Deception, he introduces us (in the words of the subtitle) to "liars, misleaders, hoodwinkers, and the extraordinary true stories of history's greatest hoaxes, fakes, and frauds."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780143035442
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/31/2005
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 406,898
  • Product dimensions: 5.48 (w) x 8.07 (h) x 0.72 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Farquhar is a writer and editor at the Washington Post specializing in history. He is the author of the bestsellers A Treasury of Great American Scandals and A Treasury of Royal Scandals. He appeared on the History Channel’s Russia, Land of the Tsars and will be featured on a forthcoming program about the French Revolution.

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Table of Contents

Pt. I Super-dupers 1
1 Charlatan's web 3
2 A taste for trickery 5
3 "Prince of humbugs" 7
4 Unreal estate 11
5 Imposter on a role 15
6 CHINcanery 19
Pt. II All the news that's slipped to print 23
1 What Janet cooked up 25
2 Ben Franklin : the devil made him do it 30
3 A poe excuse for a hoax 32
4 The Sun promises the moon 34
5 The hoax that roared 37
6 Extra! : greed all about it! 41
7 False alarm 44
8 Mencken up history 46
9 Khmer ruse 49
10 Times bomb 51
Pt. III The wars of the ruses 55
1 The agony of deceit 57
2 Sun's burn 59
3 A bridge too far? 62
4 Stretching the troops 64
5 Warning : smoking may be hazardous to your success 67
6 Drowned and dirty : the man who never was 69
7 Phantom force 71
Pt. IV State-sponsored deceptions 77
1 A bogus bequest 79
2 Three kings with aces up their sleeves 82
3 Cardinal sin 88
4 Tricking a fight 91
5 The lies and fraud of the Third Reich 94
6 Elena's padded resume 106
7 Gadhafi : dead to rights 108
8 Red, white, and not always true 110
Pt. V Science fictions 121
1 Monkey business 123
2 Bunny tale 127
3 Casting stones 129
4 A hoax in perpetuity 132
5 Diagnostic deception 134
6 A naked lie 136
7 Duplicity 138
Pt. VI Fantastic forgeries and literary frauds 141
1 Shrouding the truth 143
2 To be ... or not to be the bard 145
3 They just can't be etruscted 148
4 French fraud 150
5 A thin vermeer 152
6 Not quite the surreal deal 155
7 "Con man of the year" 156
8 Fuhrer over a fraud 164
9 Murder, ink 167
Pt. VII The deadliest lies ever told 171
1 The blood libel 173
2 The protocols of the elders of Zion 177
3 Witchcraze 180
4 A big red lie 183
5 What in the name of God! 190
Pt. VIII The great pretenders 197
1 The paupers who would be prince 199
2 Tsar struck 203
3 Queen-wanna-be 207
4 A school of Dauphins 209
5 The last Tsarevna? 214
Pt. IX Escapes hatched 223
1 A bloody good ruse 225
2 Cross-dressed for success 227
3 Special delivery from bondage 230
4 Sneak retreat 232
5 Out of Colditz 234
Pt. X Gotcha! 241
1 No shot, Sherlock : an unlikely fairy tale 243
2 The weirdest thing you ever sawed 245
3 Home delivery 247
4 A ruse of one's own 249
5 Practically indecent : Alan Abel and the siege of Troy 251
6 Plucking pasta and pulling legs 253
7 Painting the town purple 255
8 Underhand pitches 257
App. I Ten tricksters from scripture 259
App. II Ten great liars in literature 267
App. III Ten classic deceptions from Greek mythology 271
App. IV Ten egregious examples of modern American doublespeak 281
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 11, 2005

    FASCINATING HISTORY!

    Michael Farquhar has done it again! His new collection is vastly entertaining and covers many facets of deception, including newspaper hoaxes, science frauds, state-sponsored deceptions, tricks used in battle to fool the enemy, imposters, forgers, and much more. The writing is elegant and often very humorous. I thoroughly enjoyed every page.

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    Posted January 20, 2012

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