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Bunk: the rise of hoaxes, humbug, plagiarists, phonies, post-facts, and fake news

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Longlisted for the National Book Award for Nonfiction "There Kevin Young goes again, giving us books we greatly need, cleverly disguised as books we merely want. Unexpectedly essential."--Marlon James

Award-winning poet and critic Kevin Young tours us through a rogue's gallery of hoaxers, plagiarists, forgers, and fakers--from the humbug of P. T. Barnum and Edgar Allan Poe to the unrepentant bunk of JT LeRoy and Donald J. Trump. Bunk traces the history of the hoax as a peculiarly American phenomenon, examining what motivates hucksters and makes the rest of us so gullible. Disturbingly, Young finds that fakery is woven from stereotype and suspicion, race being the most insidious American hoax of all. He chronicles how Barnum came to fame by displaying figures like Joice Heth, a black woman whom he pretended was the 161-year-old nursemaid to George Washington, and What Is It?, an African American man Barnum professed was a newly discovered missing link in evolution. Bunk then turns to the hoaxing of history and the ways that forgers, plagiarists, and journalistic fakers invent backstories and falsehoods to sell us lies about themselves and about the world in our own time, from pretend Native Americans Grey Owl and Nasdijj to the deadly imposture of Clark Rockefeller, from the made-up memoirs of James Frey to the identity theft of Rachel Dolezal. In this brilliant and timely work, Young asks what it means to live in a post-factual world of "truthiness" where everything is up for interpretation and everyone is subject to a pervasive cynicism that damages our ideas of reality, fact, and art.

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ISBN:
9781555977917
155597791
9781681687117
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Grouped Work ID 23478e39-c576-7592-68fb-29ac7936dd8d
full_title bunk the rise of hoaxes humbug plagiarists phonies post facts and fake news
author young kevin
grouping_category book
lastUpdate 2018-04-18 04:18:10AM

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auth_author2 Willis, Mirron.
author Young, Kevin.
author2-role Willis, Mirron.|Narrator, hoopla digital.
author_display Young, Kevin
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detailed_location_santafe La Farge New Books, Main New Books, Online Hoopla Collection, Santa Fe Public Library On Order, Southside New Books
display_description "Award-winning poet and critic Kevin Young traces the history of the hoax as a peculiarly American phenomenon -- the legacy of P.T. Barnum's 'humbug' culminating with the currency of Donald J. Trump's 'fake news'. Disturbingly, Young finds that fakery is woven from stereotype and suspicion, with race being the most insidious American hoax of all. He chronicles how Barnum came to fame by displaying figures like Joice Heth, a black woman whom he pretended was the 161-year-old nursemaid to George Washington, and 'What Is It?', an African American man Barnum professed was a newly discovered missing link in evolution. Bunk then turns to the hoaxing of history and the ways that forgers, plagiarists, and journalistic fakers invent backstories and falsehoods to sell us lies about themselves and about the world in our own time, from pretend Native Americans like Nasdijj to the deadly imposture of Clark Rockefeller, from the made-up memoirs of James Frey to the identity theft of Rachel Dolezal. This brilliant and timely work asks what it means to live in a post-factual world of 'truthiness' where everything is up for interpretation and everyone is subject to a pervasive cynicism that damages our ideas of reality, fact, and art."--Dust jacket flap.
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publishDate 2017
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subject_facet Deception -- History, Hoaxes -- History, Language arts, Truth
title_display Bunk : the rise of hoaxes, humbug, plagiarists, phonies, post-facts, and fake news
title_full Bunk : the rise of hoaxes, humbug, plagiarists, phonies, post-facts, and fake news / Kevin Young, Bunk : the rise of hoaxes, humbug, plagiarists, phonies, post-facts, and fake news [electronic resource] / Kevin Young
title_short Bunk :
title_sub the rise of hoaxes, humbug, plagiarists, phonies, post-facts, and fake news
topic_facet Deception, History, Hoaxes, Language arts, Truth