Kevin Young: Bunk, Humbug, and Fake News

“There goes Kevin Young again, giving us books we greatly need, cleverly disguised as books we merely want. Unexpectedly essential.” — Marlon James

Kevin Young, director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and Poetry editor of The New Yorker, joins us for a timely conversation about his latest book, Bunk: The Rise of Hoaxes, Humbug, Plagiarists, Phonies, Post–Facts, and Fake News, which traces a peculiarly American history, woven from stereotype and suspicion, with race as the most insidious hoax of all. From Joice Heth, a black woman whom P.T. Barnum presented as George Washington’s 161–year–old nursemaid, to the made–up memoirs of James Frey, to the identity theft of Rachel Dolezal, Young reveals how forgers and frauds sell us lies.