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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments Introduction 1. This Is the Dawning of the Age of Enlightenment . . . and Pranks 2. Con Artists and Consumer Culture 3. Spirits in the Material World 4. Meet the Illuminati 5. The Golden Age of Newspaper Hoaxes 6. Political Pranksters 7. Prank Blowback 8. A Satanic Panic9. Showbiz Tricksters and the Pop Underground 10. An Education in Pranks Conclusion: Reflections of a Prankster Notes Bibliography Index About the Author

About the Author

Kembrew McLeod is a writer, filmmaker, and Professor of Communication Studies at the University of Iowa, and occasional prankster. He is the author of Creative License, Cutting Across Media, Owning Culture, and the award-winning Freedom of Expression (R). McLeod's writing has appeared in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Village Voice, and Rolling Stone.


"It's fantastic! Finally, a book that rescues the critically important art of the prank. Thanks to Pranksters, we finally understand what we've been trying to do all these years. No joke! Read it, and get out there and apply it!" - The Yes Men "The story of how mischief-makers hope to change the world one prank at a time...McLeod's renditions of his own pranks bring sparkle and humor to the serious message of his book.." - Kirkus "McLeod entertains and engages readers with everything from Thomas Paine to T-Pain in this clever mix of historical figures' imaginative pranks and modern attempts to capture public attention." - Publishers Weekly "An occasional prankster himself, McLeod...uses sly humor to explore the ways in which public opinion has been and can be manipulated by some unlikely deceptions. With looks at Rosicrucians, secret societies, spiritualists, conspiracies, John Birchers, Merry Pranksters, and a vast array of printed and broadcast hoaxes, McLeod weaves a tale of fantasies that sparked social commentaries and persisted for years or sometimes centuries." - Library Journal

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