The Life and Times of A Legend

Book - 2009
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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.

Publisher: Chicago : University of Chicago Press, c2009
ISBN: 9780226079790
Branch Call Number: 001.944 B867b 2009
Characteristics: xv, 279 p. : ill. ; 24 cm


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Feb 21, 2019

Truth is often stranger than fiction, and the searchers for Bigfoot may be more alien (or human) than the creature itself. This is a long-need sociological take on the Bigfoot phenomenon, tracing its origins through the present day infighting, claims/counterclaims, and videos/debunking videos. One quibble: Buhs is too harsh on skeptics of this pseudoscience, accusing them of merely being dismissive when in fact prominent skeptic Eugenie Scott stated many anthropologists would be thrilled at the discovery of a new ape, and Greg Long, who encountered the ire of Bigfoot believers by writing "The Making of Bigfoot: the Inside Story" on the dubious origins of the Patterson-Gimlin Film, said in an interview with Tom Biscardi (Bigfoot Live, November 2016) that he actually does think the creature could exist. Hey, look believers - Long did an excellent job (though he makes a crucial error and I disagree with his conclusion, but that's another review). However, for the newcomer to the Bigfoot legend and the seasoned believer or skeptic, this is an important study of how humans respond to a paranormal claim.


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