A History of Ambition in 50 Hoaxes
Hoaxes are perpetrated for a multitude of reasons — profit, fame, advancing an agenda, tarnishing the legacy of another, even boredom — but the one thing they all have in common is that they require ambition. The drive to fool others, whatever your reasons, pushes people to extraordinary lengths, crafting lies, forgeries, and wholesale fabrications that sometimes take centuries to unravel. Some of the most inventive and creative people in history have used their talents for hoaxing.
A History of Ambition in 50 Hoaxes explores not only dozens of scams — from selling the Brooklyn Bridge to masquerading as lost royalty — but the historical impact some of these hoaxes have had. And yes, while many of these topics are played for laughs by the author, others — like the monstrous Protocols of the Elders of Zion — are treated as the hazardous, toxic creations that they are, given the deadly consequences that ensued in their wake.
There’s a difference between making history and manufacturing history, but, as A History of Ambition in 50 Hoaxes shows on more than one occasion, sometimes you can do both at once.
Gale Eaton • Phillip Hoose, Series Editor
Tilbury House Publishers