What is Pranks in Print about? It's a collection of stories about stories, ads and even books that were supposedly true, but were really trickery in type. It reveals how some of the famous (or infamous) published pranks were meticulously planned, such as Sports Illustrated's 1985 story "The Curious Case of Sidd Finch." This book tells the impetus for the skullduggery that went into the best selling 1969 novel, Naked Came the Stranger. Readers will learn why the November 3, 1948 issue of the Chicago Daily Tribune, with its legendary "Dewey Defeats Truman" headline was not an honest editorial mistake but rather a case of political bias-that backfired.
Many of the stories in this book were published in recent times, but pranks stories are hardly a modern day event. Benjamin Franklin produced a series of prank articles, "The Silence Dogood Letters," which appeared in the New England Courant in 1722. Numerous prank articles were published in the 19th century including a series of articles by the New York Sun that would become known as the "Great Moon Hoax of 1835." "The Miraculous Bullet" appeared in a Kentucky medical journal shortly after the U. S. Civil War. It was a hoax that some still believed true well into the 1950s.
Pranks in Print has thirty-six stories that tell the story of these and other notorious fake Stories, phony ads and media mischief.