Cover image for Hoax : a history of deception : 5,000 years of fakes, forgeries, and fallacies / Ian Tattersall and Peter Névraumont.
Title:
Hoax : a history of deception : 5,000 years of fakes, forgeries, and fallacies / Ian Tattersall and Peter Névraumont.
ISBN:
9780316503723
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Black Dog & Leventhal, Hachette Book Group, 2018.

©2018
Physical Description:
xi, 244 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Contents:
Other animals: Evolution of the con -- Apocalypticism: the end of the world as we know it -- Pseudoarkeology: The ark at the end of the rainbow -- Predetermined combat: Gladiators and pro wrestlers -- Selling empires: The Julian purchase -- Cryptozoology: The Loch Ness Monster -- Sacred relics: The precious prepuce -- Gender bending: Pope Joan -- Sindonology: The Shroud of Turin -- Renaissance reprobates: Michelangelo's Cupid -- Fraudulent ethnicity: Psalmanazar -- Romantic suicide: Thomas Chatterton -- Counterfeit wine: Thomas Jefferson's Lafite -- PseudoShakespeare: The boy who would be bard -- Cryptoanthropology: The saga of Bigfoot -- Imaginary lands: Poyais -- Alternate realities: Faked photographs -- Aerial feats: Edgar Allan Poe and the great balloon hoax -- Communing with the departed: Spiritualism and evolution -- Diddling: The original con man -- Pseudoarchaeology: The Davenport tablets -- Ultimate diets: Breatharianism -- Deathbed conversions: The Lady Hope -- Forged documents: The Priory of Sion -- Public credulity: Political lies -- Political persecutions: The Dreyfus affair -- Financial fraud: The scammer scammed -- Fake paleoanthropology: Piltdown -- Arctic exploration: Robert Peary -- Quack medicine: Radionics -- Mythogenesis: the six Mona Lisas -- Fake music: Fritz Kreisler -- Pseudoplanetology: Flat and hollow Earths -- Fake art: Tribute or exploitation? -- Dialectical biology: Lysenkoism and its consequences -- Counterfeit cadavers: "The man who never was" -- Invented identities: Korla Pandit -- Misguided archaeology: A lion in winter -- Circumnavigations that weren't: The sad saga of Donald Crowhurst -- Lunacy: Conspiracy theories -- Human variation: The fallacy of race -- Eternal life: the frozen self -- Homeopathy: The memory of water -- Pseudopaleontology: "Archaeoraptor" -- Unreliable memories: Fake memoirs -- Irrational hysteria: Vaccines and autism -- Peer review: Jan Hendrik Schön -- Bogus security: Fake bomb detectors -- Faked deaths: Pseudocide -- Fake journalism: Stephen Glass, Jayson Blair, and their legacy.
Abstract:
"An entertaining collection of the most audacious and underhanded deceptions in the history of mankind, from sacred relics to financial schemes to fake art, music, and identities. World history is littered with tall tales and those who have fallen for them. Ian Tattersall, a curator emeritus at the American Museum of Natural History, has teamed up with Peter Névraumont to create this anti-history of the world, in which Michelangelo fakes a masterpiece; Arctic explorers seek an entrance into a hollow Earth; a Shakespeare tragedy is "rediscovered"; a financial scheme inspires Charles Ponzi; a spirit photographer snaps Abraham Lincoln's ghost; people can survive ingesting only air and sunshine; Edgar Allen Pie is the forefather of fake news; and the first human was not only British but played cricket. Told chronologically, HOAX begins with the first documented announcement of the end of the world from 365 AD and winds its way through controversial tales such as the Loch Ness Monster and the Shroud of Turin, past proven fakes such as the Thomas Jefferson's ancient wine and the Davenport Tablets built by a lost race, and explores bald-faced lies in the worlds of art, science, literature, journalism, and finance. World history is littered with tall tales and those who have fallen for them. Ian Tattersall, a curator emeritus at the American Museum of Natural History, has teamed up with Peter Névraumont to create this anti-history of the world, in which Michelangelo fakes a masterpiece; Arctic explorers seek an entrance into a hollow Earth; a Shakespeare tragedy is "rediscovered;" a financial scheme inspires Charles Ponzi; a spirit photographer snaps Abraham Lincoln's ghost; people can survive ingesting only air and sunshine; Edgar Allen Poe is the forefather of fake news; and the first human was not only British but played cricket. Organized chronologically, Hoax begins with the first documented announcement of the end of the world from 365 AD and winds its way through controversial tales such as the Loch Ness Monster and the Shroud of Turin, past proven fakes such as the Thomas Jefferson's ancient wine and the Davenport Tablets built by a lost race, and explores bald-faced lies in the worlds of art, science, literature, journalism, and finance"-- Provided by publisher.
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Summary

Summary

An enthralling exploration of the most audacious and underhanded deceptions in the history of mankind, from sacred relics to financial schemes to fake art, music, and identities.

World history is littered with tall tales and those who have fallen for them. Ian Tattersall, a curator emeritus at the American Museum of Natural History, and Peter Névraumont, an award-winning book producer, have teamed up to create this anti-history of the world, in which Michelangelo fakes a cupid; the holy foreskin is venerated; arctic explorers search for an entrance into a hollow Earth; a woman is elected Pope; and people can survive on only air and sunshine.

Told chronologically, HOAX begins with the first documented announcement of the end of the world from 365 AD and winds its way through controversial tales such as the Loch Ness Monster and the Shroud of Turin, past proven fakes such as the Thomas Jefferson's ancient wine and the Davenport Tablets built by a lost race, and explores bald-faced lies in the art world, journalism, and archeology.


Author Notes

Ian Tattersall, PhD , is Curator Emeritus in the Division of Anthropology of the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, where he co-curates the Spitzer Hall of Human Origins. He is the acknowledged leader of the human fossil record, and has won several awards, including the Institute of Human Origins Lifetime Achievement Award. Tattersall has appeared on Charlie Rose and NPR's Science Friday, and has written for Scientific American and Archaeology . He's been widely cited by the media, including The New York Times , BBC, MSNBC, and National Geographic . Tattersall is the author of Masters of the Planet , which the Atlantic calls "Quietly magnificent," among other titles. He lives in New York City.

Peter N. Névraumont has produced a number of award-winning natural history book and worked with some of the world's leading scientists, including Meave Leakey, Niles Eldredge, Stephen J. Gould, and Donald Johanson. He lives in New York City.


Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

The crack team of Tattersall (curator emeritus, American Museum of Natural History) and natural history book publisher Névraumont dissect 50 well-known and obscure hoaxes in three- to five-page articles. Ample photos will hold readers' interest for entries on faked photographs (living fairies? Lincoln's ghost?) and Jan Hendrik Schön, who (with the help of coauthors) published "an avalanche" of fraudulent scientific papers between 2000 and 2002. VERDICT Readers will learn more about the sixth-century sighting of a creature in Loch Ness and the fossils of the Piltdown Man. Consider for all public libraries. © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.