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
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Overview

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

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.

Chuck Klosterman has walked into the darkness. As a boy, he related to the cultural figures who represented goodness—but as an adult, he found himself unconsciously aligning with their enemies. This was not because he necessarily liked what they were doing; it was because they were doing it on purpose (and they were doing it better). They wanted to be evil. And 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)? How does the culture of deliberate malevolence operate?

In I Wear the Black Hat, Klosterman questions the modern understanding of villainy. What was so Machiavellian about Machiavelli? Why don’t we see Bernhard Goetz the same way we see Batman? Who is more worthy of our vitriol—Bill Clinton or Don Henley? What was O. J. Simpson’s second-worst decision? And why is Klosterman still haunted by some kid he knew for one week in 1985?

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

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781439184509
Publisher: Scribner
Publication date: 07/01/2014
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 472,140
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.37(h) x 0.70(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

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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.
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You wont want to put it down.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thanks!