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Bunk by Kevin Young
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Bunk

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

$34.49 USD

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Narrator Mirron Willis
Length 20 hours 24 minutes
Language English
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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.

Kevin Young is the author of a previous book of nonfiction, The Grey Album, and eleven 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.

Mirron Willis has narrated over 200 audiobooks across various literary genres and has won several Earphone Awards for Excellence and is an Audie Award finalist and winner. Notable works include Ginny Gall by Charlie Smith, The Smokey Dalton Series by Kris Nelscott; My Song: A Memoir by Harry Belafonte; The Long Fall (Booklist, Best of 2009) and others by Walter Mosley; Uncle Tom's Cabin, Elijah of Buxton, The Translator; and Souls of Black Folk by W. E. B Dubois. In three seasons at the Ensemble Theatre (Houston, Texas), Mirron appeared as JP in What I Learned in Paris, Malcolm X in The Meeting, Henry in Race, and as Countee Cullen in Knock Me a Kiss (2013 Giorgee Award for Best Leading Actor). Other roles include Twelfth Night, Much Ado About Nothing, Henry VI Parts 2 & 3, and A Raisin in the Sun with the world-renowned Oregon Shakespeare Festival. He has also performed as guest narrator with the Houston Symphony. Film and TV guest appearances include Criminal Minds, Private Practice, The Exes, Monk, 24, Seinfeld, Cheers, The Parkers, Living Single, E.R., Star Trek, and Independence Day, among others. Mirron resides and records audiobooks on his family's historic ranch in East Texas.

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