A social history of cheating and how American history, through real estate, sports, finance, academics, and of course politics, has had its unfair share of rigged results and widened the margins on its gray areas.
In this and many other passages, Cheaters Always Win is too glib to be regarded as meaningful social or political history. What the book really aspires to is a tart comic essay on our putative moral decline, and it abounds in lively if disheartening anecdotes related in vivid language ... While Ms. Fenster grudgingly admires the gifted cheater’s resourcefulness, she detests his morals, seeing cheating as a character flaw. But is it? ... Like so much in this brisk and breezy book, the answer is unconvincing, but the question is fascinating.
A lighthearted romp through several centuries of cheating at popular American pursuits ... a wit that ranges from deadpan to sardonic ... The flippant tone of much of this book—entertaining as it can be—is often at odds with its serious and well-taken points about the normalization of cheating in America ... A timely subject gets a treatment at times too clever for its own good.