What do the Trojan Horse, Piltdown Man, the Keely Motor Company, and the Cottingley Fairies have in common? They were all famous hoaxes–lies, carefully designed and bolstered with false evidence. The hoaxsters in this book harbored a variety of ambitions: making money, winning World War II, or mocking parents and other authorities. Ideas about what to fake and how to fake it trend with the times. But as P.T. Barnum knew, you can short-circuit critical thinking in any century by telling people what they want to hear. As captured by Gale Eaton’s exuberant sleuthing and nonfiction artistry, the history of scam artists is both entertaining and revealing, a unique and telling lens through which to view human progress.