Bunk by Kevin Young audiobook

Bunk: The Rise of Hoaxes, Humbug, Plagiarists, Phonies, Post-Facts, and Fake News

By Kevin Young
Read by Mirron Willis

HighBridge, Highbridge Audio 9781555977917
Unabridged
Format: CD (In Stock)
  • $44.99

    ISBN: 9781681687100

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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Summary

Summary

Shortlisted for the PEN/Jean Stein Book Award

Longlisted for the National Book Award for Nonfiction

A 2017 Buzzfeed Best Books of the Year selection in nonfiction

A New York Times Pick of New Paperbacks

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.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“Riveting…Young covers, and uncovers, America’s long and varied history of deceptive practices.” Elle
“What could be timelier in the age of post-truth politics, science denial, and fake news?” Newsweek
“[An] enthralling and essential new study of our collective American love affair with pernicious and intractable moonshine.” New York Times Book Review
“A wild, incisive, exhilarating tour through Western culture’s sideshows and dark corners…telling a story that at times defies belief. And every word of it is true.” Los Angeles Times
“This enlightening, entertaining and timely tome is just what we need to understand and protect against the pervasive cynicism that threatens our nation to our very core.” Detroit Free Press
“A fascinating, well-researched look at the many ways Americans hoodwink each other, often about race.” Kirkus Reviews

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Kevin Young

Author Bio: Kevin Young

Kevin Young is the author of a books nonfiction and several books of poetry, including Blue Laws, which was long-listed for the National Book Award. He is the director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : CD
Category: Nonfiction
Audience: Adult
Language: English