I Wear the Black Hat: Grappling with Villains (Real and Imagined)

I Wear the Black Hat: Grappling with Villains (Real and Imagined)

by Chuck Klosterman

Hardcover

$22.50 $25.00 Save 10% Current price is $22.5, Original price is $25. You Save 10%.
View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Monday, June 24

Overview

From New York Times bestselling author, “one of America’s top cultural critics” (Entertainment Weekly), and “The Ethicist” for The New York Times Magazine comes a new book of all original pieces on villains and villainy in popular culture.

Chuck Klosterman has walked into the darkness. As a child, he rooted for conventionally good characters like wide-eyed Luke Skywalker in Star Wars. But as Klosterman aged, his alliances shifted—first to Han Solo and then to Darth Vader. Vader was a hero who consciously embraced evil; Vader wanted to be bad. But what, exactly, was that supposed to mean? When we classify someone as a bad person, what are we really saying (and why are we so obsessed with saying it)? In I Wear the Black Hat, Klosterman questions the very nature of how modern people understand the culture of villainy. What was so Machiavellian about Machiavelli? Why don’t we see Batman the same way we see Bernhard Goetz? Who’s more worthy of our vitriol—Bill Clinton or Don Henley? What was O.J. Simpson’s second-worst decision? And why is Klosterman still obsessed with some kid he knew for one week in 1985?

Masterfully blending cultural analysis with self-interrogation and limitless imagination, I Wear the Black Hat delivers perceptive observations on the complexity of the anti-hero (seemingly the only kind of hero America still creates). I Wear the Black Hat is the rare example of serious criticism that’s instantly accessible and really, really funny. He is the only writer doing whatever it is he’s doing.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781439184493
Publisher: Scribner
Publication date: 07/09/2013
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 5.80(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Chuck Klosterman is the New York Times bestselling author of seven previous books, including Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs; Eating the Dinosaur; Killing Yourself to Live; and The Visible Man. His debut book, Fargo Rock City, was the winner of the ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award. He has written for GQ, Esquire, Spin, The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Believer, and The Onion A.V. Club. He currently serves as “The Ethicist” for the New York Times Magazine and writes about sports and popular culture for ESPN.

Hometown:

New York, New York

Date of Birth:

June 5, 1972

Place of Birth:

Wyndmere, North Dakota

Education:

Degree in Journalism, University of North Dakota, 1994

Read an Excerpt

I Wear the Black Hat


  • One should judge a man mainly from his depravities. Virtues can be faked. Depravities are real.

    — Klaus Kinski, super nihilist.

    I’m gonna quote a line from Yeats, I think it is: “The best lack all conviction, while the best are filled” . . . oh, no. It’s the other way around. “The best lack all conviction, and the worst are filled with a passionate intensity.” Now, you figure out where I am.

    — Lou Reed, super high.

    I’m not a good guy. I mean, I don’t hurt anybody. But I don’t help, either.

    — Louis C.K., super real.

  • Table of Contents

    Preface 1

    What You Say About His Company Is What You Say About Society 9

    Another Thing That Interests Me About the Eagles Is That I [Am Contractually Obligated to] Hate Them 23

    Villains Who Are Not Villains 39

    Easier Than Typing 59

    Human Clay 77

    Without a Gun They Can't Get None 89

    Arrested for Smoking 107

    Electric Funeral 131

    "I Am Perplexed" [This Is Why, This Is Why, This Is Why They Hate You] 149

    Crime and Punishment (or the Lack Thereof) 165

    Hider Is in the Book 183

    The Problem of Overrated Ideas 195

    Acknowledgments 201

    Index 2030

    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews

    See All Customer Reviews

    I Wear the Black Hat: Grappling with Villains (Real and Imagined) 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
    kmac73 More than 1 year ago
    Typically hysterical, witty and insanely bright essays on mundane topics. (don't get me wrong, I love the topics) Good to see him returning to nonfiction, much as I like his fiction work.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    A good piece that makes you think.
    devour_lit More than 1 year ago
    I purchased this book because I had heard so many good things about Chuck Klosterman. This is the first book of his that I've purchased; however, I have read his Grantland pieces and some other work on pop culture and sports. And this book has a great premise- who are the villains, why are they villains, and how did they become villains. Klosterman answers these three questions, mostly, but the majority of the essays in this collection lack depth. CK scratches the surface on one of his subjects, digresses into discussing other people without a clear transition, and then comes back to the original subject, without meaningfully tying everything together. Therefore, this book mostly forgettable. The OJ Simpson and the NWA essays are the most lucid and well-executed pieces. You'd be better off checking this out at a library than buying it.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    You wont want to put it down.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Thanks!