‘The Ultimate Book of Impostors'

Impostor/Imposter: Someone who deceives others by assuming a false identity


This book tells the stories of more than 100 people who pretended to be someone else. It was published in the United States by Sourcebooks and in Britain by Thistle Publishing. Translations have also been published in Japan and South Korea.

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History is littered with examples of people who pretended to be someone else. They used false identities to claim royal and aristotratic titles, defraud people and flee from justice. There were also fantasists who simply wanted to lead a more exciting life as someone else.


Did you know:

.. Victor Lustig played the part of a French government official so well that he managed to sell the Eiffel Tower for scrap …. twice

.. Private Denis Smith served as a combat engineer on the front line during World War I, but 'he' was actually Dorothy Lawrence

.. Ferdinand Demara assumed so many false identities that he was known as the Great Impostor

.. a 27-person Israeli Mossad hit squad stole the identities of real British, Irish, Australian and German people to enable them to close in on and assassinate their unsuspecting target

.. Dan Cooper successfully hijacked an airliner and collected a $200,000 ransom for it, and no-one knows to this day who Dan Cooper was

.. a suspicious passenger by the name of John Robinson sailing from Britain to Canada was in fact the notorious Dr Crippen fleeing from the police, who were investigating the mysterious disappearance of his wife

.. Stephen Weinberg posed as a US Undersecretary of State so convincingly that he managed to meet the President before he was detected


The most famous impostors are in the book too:

.. Anna Anderson, who claimed to be the Grand Duchess Anastasia of Russia, but a DNA test proved otherwise

.. Mata Hari, who claimed to be a Javanese princess and temple dancer, but she was actually Dutch

.. Lambert Simnel and Perkin Warbeck, who claimed the British throne, but they didn't have a drop of royal blood between them

.. Grey Owl, who lived as a Canadian Ojibwe Indian, but he was actually an Englishman called Archie Belaney


And there are bogus pilots, fake doctors, cyber doubles and many, many others.


Ultimate Book of Impostors


© Ian Graham 2017