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William Henry Irwin

William Henry Irwin

#1 Gambling author
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(Oneida, New York: September 14th, 1873 - February 24th, 1948)

Will Irwin was an American journalist and writer. Starting in 1901, he was a reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle and a few years later for The New York Sun. His biggest story and the feat that made him a professional writer was his absentee coverage for The New York Sun of the San Francisco earthquake of April 18, 1906. After that, he wrote investigative stories on the movement for Prohibition and a study of fake spiritual mediums. Irwin was a skeptic of paranormal phenomena. In 1907-1908, for the Colliers Weekly, he published four installments of "The Medium Game: Behind the Scenes with Spiritualism" to uncover fraud and trickery associated with spiritualism.

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William Henry Irwin
The Confessions of a Con Man by William Henry Irwin

A wonderfully interesting confession of a con man who was a contemporary of Erdnase, and just like him operated for a time while traveling with small circuses in Illinois and surrounding states. Of particular interest is a full dialog of how an unsuspecting person on the train was lured into gambling 3 card monte. The dialog demonstrates how skillfully these operatives were and how well they understood human nature. Other cons are also described in detail.

Excerpt from the preface:

When these confessions appeared serially, friends and distant enquirers took it for granted that they were fiction;...

$15
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