The Confidence Men by Margalit Fox

Brendan’s Alternate Tagline for The Confidence Men:

Maybe I’ve had fortune tellers wrong this whole time.

Quick synopsis:

The story of how two British POWs in World War I make their escape… by using telepathy.

Fun Fact Non-History People Will Like:

This may be the only example in military history of a conviction on espionage using telepathy.

Fun Fact for History Nerds:

I love the following paragraph so much I need to reprint it in its entirety. Thank you, Margalit, for this gift.

“Below “Insanity” came a taxonomic free-for-all, a welter of gothic descriptions vying for alienists’ diagnostic attention. Among them were epileptic insanity, syphilitic insanity, gouty insanity, hysterical insanity, alcoholic insanity, moral insanity, idiocy, cretinism, erotic paranoia, reasoning mania, querulous insanity with a mania for lawsuits, spasmodic asthma with insanity, and sexual vampire delusion.”

I think I have three.

My Take on The Confidence Men:

Well, if you are going to be a POW, you might as well have fun with it, con men style!

In World War I, many people forget about the fighting in many places where the news didn’t focus. In Turkey, the British were fighting and losing sometimes. It is nearly impossible to escape from a very remote POW camp, but notice I said “nearly.” Two British soldiers who never met before realized their captors were extremely superstitious. Oh, and also extremely gullible. What follows is a harmless confidence game with a homemade Ouija board growing into one of the most ridiculous escapes in the history of warfare.


A really fun book which focuses on a very ignored theater of World War I. Buy it here!

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