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Author: Kembrew McLeod

ISBN: 9780814796290
Format: Hardcover
Number Of Pages: 364
Published: 17 March 2014
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 583.0 x 389.5 x 3.0

From BenjaminFranklin's newspaper hoax that faked the death of his rival to Abbie Hoffman'sattempt to levitate the Pentagon, pranksters, hoaxers, and con artists have causedconfusion, disorder, and laughter in Western society for centuries. Profilingthe most notorious mischief makers from the 1600s to the present day, Prankstersexplores how "pranks" are part of a long tradition of speaking truth to powerand social critique.

Invoking such historical and contemporary figures as P.T. Barnum,Jonathan Swift, WITCH, The Yes Men, and Stephen Colbert, Kembrew McLeod showshow staged spectacles that balance the serious and humorous can spark importantpublic conversations. In some instances, tricksters have incited social change(and unfortunate prank blowback) by manipulating various forms of media, fromnewspapers to YouTube. For example, in the 1960s, self-proclaimed "professionalhoaxer" Alan Abel lampooned America's hypocritical sexual mores by usingconservative rhetoric to fool the news media into covering a satirical organizationthat advocated clothing naked animals. In the 1990s, Sub Pop Recordsthen-receptionist Megan Jasp...

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