Last August, two men in rural Georgia announced that they had killed Bigfoot. The claim drew instant, feverish attention, leading to more than 1,000 news stories worldwide—despite the fact that nearly everyone knew it was a hoax. Though Bigfoot may not exist, there’s no denying Bigfoot mania.
With Bigfoot, Joshua Blu Buhs traces the wild and wooly story of America’s favorite homegrown monster. He begins with nineteenth-century accounts of wildmen roaming the forests of America, treks to the Himalayas to reckon with the Abominable Snowman, then takes us to northern California in 1958, when reports of a hairy hominid loping through remote woodlands marked Bigfoot’s emergence as a modern marvel. Buhs delves deeply into the trove of lore and misinformation that has sprung up around Bigfoot in the ensuing half century. We meet charlatans, pseudo-scientists, and dedicated hunters of the beast—and with Buhs as our guide, the focus is always less on evaluating their claims than on understanding why Bigfoot has inspired all this drama and devotion in the first place. What does our fascination with this monster say about our modern relationship to wilderness, individuality, class, consumerism, and the media?
Writing with a scientist’s skepticism but an enthusiast’s deep engagement, Buhs invests the story of Bigfoot with the detail and power of a novel, offering the definitive take on this elusive beast.
Michael Norman University of Wisconsin Press, 2017 Library of Congress BF1472.U6S36 2017 | Dewey Decimal 133.10977
A fleeting figure dressed in a white party dress roams the streets of southwest Chicago. A long-dead Iowa college student treads the staircase in an old building. A ghostly, plaid-shirted workman plays peek-a-boo with a ticket seller in a Minnesota theater. A phantom wolf prowls Ohio's Jackson and Pike Counties.
For decades, journalist Michael Norman has been tracking down spine-tingling tales that seem to arise from authentic incidents in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, and Wisconsin. In Haunted Heartland he offers more than eighty entertaining, eerie stories. Are they true in the world that we know, or only in a dark vale of twilight?
Across Victorian Britain, apparently reasonable people twisted into bizarre postures, called out in unknown languages, and placidly bore assaults that should have caused unbearable pain all while they were mesmerized. Alison Winter's fascinating cultural history traces the history of mesmerism in Victorian society. Mesmerized is both a social history of the age and a lively exploration of the contested territory between science and pseudo-science.
"Dazzling. . . . This splendid book . . . gives us a new form of historical understanding and a model for open and imaginative reading."—James R. Kinkaid, Boston Globe
"A landmark in the history of science scholarship."—John Sutherland, The Independent
"It is difficult to imagine the documentary side of the story being better done than by Winter's well-researched and generously illustrated study. . . . She is a lively and keen observer; and her book is a pleasure to read purely for its range of material and wealth of detail. . . . Fruitful and suggestive."—Daniel Karlin, Times Literary Supplement
"An ambitious, sweeping and fascinating historical study. . . . Beautifully written, thoroughly researched, and well-illustrated."—Bernard Lightman, Washington Times