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The Confidence Men: How Two Prisoners of War Engineered the Most Remarkable Escape in History Paperback – June 7, 2022

4.1 out of 5 stars 685 ratings

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  • The Confidence Men: How Two Prisoners of War Engineered the Most Remarkable Escape in History
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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Enthralling . . . exceptionally entertaining.”—Michael Dirda, The Washington Post

“Tales of spunky prisoners of war suffering horrifying privation or outfoxing their sadistic or imbecilic captors are a staple of military history and the movies. . . . Fact or fiction, few of them can match the latest entry in the genre. . . . Margalit Fox’s
The Confidence Men tells the tale of two Allied officers captured by the Turks during World War I who escaped their remote prison camp by pulling an ingenious and elaborate spiritualist con on the camp’s greedy commandant.”—The Wall Street Journal

“A wonder; a marvel; a feat of invention and dogged persistence; and most of all, a testament to the power of the human capacity to 
believe. The Confidence Men is a thrilling tale of courage and friendship and overcoming, not to mention tricks and lies and magician's cunning, and it will have you cheering the tricksters every step of the way. The story of their ingenuity offers joy, solace, and hope.”—Liza Mundy, author of Code Girls: The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers of World War II

The Confidence Men couldn’t have come along at a better time. This story of two unlikely con artists—young British officers who use a Ouija board to escape from a Turkish prisoner-of-war camp—is a true delight, guaranteed to lift the spirits of anyone eager to forget today’s realities and lose oneself in a beautifully written tale of an exciting and deeply moving real-life caper.”—Lynne Olson, author of Madame Fourcade’s Secret War

“Margalit Fox is one of the premier narrative storytellers we have today, and
The Confidence Men is a wonderfully entertaining brew of history, thrills, and ingenuity, one that highlights the rare occasion when con artistry is employed for the greater public good.”—Sarah Weinman, author of The Real Lolita and editor of Unspeakable Acts: True Tales of Crime, Murder, Deceit, and Obsession

“Fox tells a brisk story filled with colorful background on the magic, spiritualism, and psychiatry of the day. . . .The brisk true story of a jailbreak so bizarre it might rate an entry in Ripley’s Believe It or Not!”
Kirkus Reviews

“Fox (
Conan Doyle for the Defense), a former obituary writer for the New York Times, recounts in this marvelous history how two British army officers in WWI orchestrated ‘the most singular prison break ever recorded.’ . . . Fox enriches her account with intriguing deep dives into the psychology of ‘coercive persuasion,’ the mechanics of confidence games, and the history of spiritualism in the U.S. and England. Readers will be mesmerized by this rich and rewarding tale.”Publishers Weekly (starred review)

About the Author

Margalit Fox originally trained as a cellist and a linguist before pursuing journalism. As a senior writer in The New York Times’s celebrated Obituary News Department, she wrote the front-page public sendoffs of some of the leading cultural figures of our age. Winner of the William Saroyan Prize for Literature and author of three previous books, Conan Doyle for the Defense, The Riddle of the Labyrinth, and Talking Hands, Fox lives in Manhattan with her husband, the writer and critic George Robinson.
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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Random House Trade Paperbacks; Reprint edition (June 7, 2022)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 352 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1984853856
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1984853851
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 8.8 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.48 x 0.74 x 8.23 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.1 out of 5 stars 685 ratings

About the author

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Former senior writer for The New York Times and the author of multiple narrative nonfiction books. I'm featured in Steven Pinker's best-selling book "The Sense of Style" and Vanessa Gould's 2017 documentary "Obit."

Customer reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5
685 global ratings

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