Mark Bourrie is an award-winning writer who holds a Ph.D. in history from the University of Ottawa. He has written for all of Canada's newspapers and magazines. His last book, The Fog of War: Censorship of Canada's Media in World War II, reached number six on Maclean's non-fiction bestseller list. He lives in Ottawa.
Flim Flam explores the world of Canadian white-collar crime, a place inhabited by hustlers, wild gamblers, and crazy dreamers. It takes the reader to the Vancouver Stock Exchange, where dream salesmen have peddled wild stories of easy money, through the "moose pasture" scams of northern Canada, to the con artists who have been drawn to Toronto’s financial district. Along the way, you’ll meet crooked politicians, a young con man who confessed to a church congregation after he was "born again," disbarred lawyers, and the creator of a huge paper fortune who was left with nothing but a wolfskin coat when his real estate empire fell apart.
Greed is a powerful motivator that has taken some Canadians down strange roads. Some have ended up pocketing millions, but many more of Canada’s con artists have self-destructed, taking with them the fortunes of the people they bilked. In the end, they’ve usually fooled themselves, too.
Flim Flam shows that Canadians aren’t nearly as dull as we’d like to believe. When it comes to conning each other, we have some of the most colourful and interesting hucksters in the world. This book contains stories from all regions of the country. It will appeal to business and true-crime readers, as well as people who are students of human nature.