THE MAN WHO SOLD THE EIFFEL TOWER by

THE MAN WHO SOLD THE EIFFEL TOWER

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The outrageous life of Count Victor Lustig is a sensational note in criminal careers, with his record of 47 arrests with no convictions proving that his operations were well handled. Told by an ex-Secret Service Agent, one of a group assigned, in 1936, to locate a master engraver of counterfeit, he later took the trouble to backtrack the facts of Lustig's years of swindling. This follows the man from his European beginnings, his illegal activities in Paris, his early card sharping on Atlantic crossings (with valuable training under Nicky Arnstein) to his acceptance by the underworld in the United States. The way in which his confidence games worked -- on bankers, businessmen, social climbers, even Al Capone, always letting the sucker beg to be taken- displays his cruel, bold character; his sales of his money making machine and the Eiffel Tower (he sold it twice) are skillful exercises playing on human frailty; his exploitation of a stagestruck girl and man finally put the police on his trail. His possible association with the counterfeiter brings in the Secret Service and their vigilance makes his 48th arrest stick, with his jail sentence ending in his death. Dashing deviltry here.

Pub Date: July 7th, 1961
Publisher: Doubleday