Bunk: The Rise of Hoaxes, Humbug, Plagiarists, Phonies, Post-Facts, and Fake News Audiobook, by Kevin Young Play Audiobook Sample

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

Bunk: The Rise of Hoaxes, Humbug, Plagiarists, Phonies, Post-Facts, and Fake News Audiobook, by Kevin Young Play Audiobook Sample
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Read By: Mirron Willis Publisher: Highbridge Audio Listen Time: at 1.0x Speed 13.67 hours at 1.5x Speed 10.25 hours at 2.0x Speed Release Date: November 2017 Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download ISBN: 9781681687117

Quick Stats About this Audiobook

Total Audiobook Chapters:


Longest Chapter Length:

58:19 minutes

Shortest Chapter Length:

15:08 minutes

Average Chapter Length:

39:29 minutes

Audiobooks by this Author:


Other Audiobooks Written by Kevin Young: > View All...

Publisher Description

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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“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 


  • “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
  • “A fascinating, well-researched look at the many ways Americans hoodwink each other, often about race.”

    — Kirkus Reviews


  • A 2017 Buzzfeed Best Books of the Year selection in nonfiction
  • Shortlisted for the PEN/Jean Stein Book Award
  • Longlisted for the National Book Award for Nonfiction
  • A New York Times Pick of New Paperbacks

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About 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.

About Mirron Willis

Mirron Willis—actor of film, stage, and television—is the winner of the prestigious Audie Award for best narration in 2012 and a finalist for the Audie in 2015, as well as the winner of four AudioFile Earphones Awards for his audiobook recordings. He has worked extensively in film and television and on stage with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the Houston Shakespeare Festival, and the Ensemble Theatre, among others. He has recorded some 150 audiobooks, including the Smokey Dalton series by Kris Nelscott and My Song by Harry Belafonte. He resides and records audiobooks on his family’s historic ranch in East Texas.