Kembrew McLeod's "Pranksters"
Iowa Communications Studies Professor Kembrew McLeod’s witty, informative new book, Pranksters: Masking Mischief in the Modern World, traces the notion of the large-scale hoax and its connection with media and politics through the years. P.T. Barnum, Jonathan Swift, and Benjamin Franklin are among the best known, but there are plenty of equally shocking and amusing characters whom McLeod takes obvious delight in introducing us to. The book is well researched, but it doesn’t read like a scholarly academic piece. McLeod writes beautifully and the reader can glide right through the book, feeling educated and delighted by the end.
“Satire, irony, and performance politics—from The Daily Show to the Yes Men—are being enacted, thought about, and discussed a great deal these days, but the subject has only started to be written about. Kembrew McLeod, an engaging writer as well as a practicing prankster, does a brilliant job in analyzing the ways in which pranks underscore a larger, often pointed truth.”—Stephen Duncombe, editor, Cultural Resistance Reader