confidence trick

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I wouldn't dream of calling Tom DeLay's former assistant, Jack Abramoff, or his colleague, Paul Scanlon, confidence men, but it does appear that they have carried to new heights the art of making the client feel--and feel deeply--the need for their services.
By 1900, ordinary men and women no longer merely feared falling victim to confidence men, speculative ventures, business failures, and false reports; they also feared the stigma of being seen as standing still in a society where striving had become a moral obligation
See also Hilkey, Character is Capital, 134 and Karen Halttunen, Confidence Men and Painted Women: A Study of Middle-Class Culture in America, 1830-1870 (New Haven, 1982).
Kasson, Rudeness and Civility: Manners in Nineteenth-Century Urban America (New York, 1990); Karen Halttunen, Confidence Men and Painted Women: A Study of Middle-Class Culture in America, 1830-1870 (New Haven, Conn.
See Stuart Blumin, The Emergence of the Middle Class: Social Experience in the American City, 1760-1900 (Cambridge, 1989); Mary Ryan, Cradle of the Middle Class: The Family in Oneida County, New York, 1790-1865 (Cambridge, 1981); Karen Halttunen, Confidence Men and Painted Women: A Study of Middle-Class Culture in America, 1830-1870 (New Haven, 1982).
6-9 and passim; Karen Halttunen, Confidence Men and Painted Women (New Haven, 1982), p.
Karen Halttunen uses etiquette literature in her sophisticated study of the emergence of middle-class culture in America between 1830 and 1870, Confidence Men and Painted Women (New Haven, 1982).
As Karen Haltunen has shown in her excellent cultural history, Confidence Men and Painted Women, the middling-class urban people who made up much of America's Victorian society were obsessed with questions of sincerity and authenticity, with the meanings of their actions.