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The Sun and the Moon: The Remarkable True Account of Hoaxers, Showmen, Dueling Journalists, and Lunar Man-Bats in Nineteenth-Century New York

The Sun and the Moon: The Remarkable True Account of Hoaxers, Showmen, Dueling Journalists, and Lunar Man-Bats in Nineteenth-Century New York

by Matthew Goodman

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Overview

On August 26, 1835, a fledgling newspaper called the Sun brought to New York the first accounts of remarkable lunar discoveries. A series of six articles reported the existence of life on the moon — including unicorns, beavers that walked on their hind legs, and four-foot-tall flying man-bats. In a matter of weeks it was the most broadly circulated newspaper story of the era, and the Sun, a working-class upstart, became the most widely read paper in the world.

An exhilarating narrative history of a divided city on the cusp of greatness, and tale of a crew of writers, editors, and charlatans who stumbled on a new kind of journalism, The Sun and the Moon tells the surprisingly true story of the penny papers that made America a nation of newspaper readers.


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780465019007
Publisher: Basic Books
Publication date: 06/01/2010
Edition description: First Trade Paper Edition
Pages: 360
Product dimensions: 5.76(w) x 9.02(h) x 0.96(d)
Age Range: 13 - 18 Years

About the Author

Matthew Goodman's nonfiction writing has appeared in the Forward, the American Scholar, Harvard Review, Brill's Content, and the Utne Reader. He is the author of Jewish Food: The World at Table. He lives in New York City with his wife and children.

Table of Contents

Prologue: The Man on the Moon 1

Part 1 The Sun

1 Benjamin Day's Whistling Boy 17

2 The News of the City 33

3 Bearer of the Falcon Crest 49

4 The Atrocious Impositions of Matthias 65

5 "The Evil Spirit of the Times" 83

6 The Prince of Ivy Island 97

7 Strange Attractions 115

Part 2 The Moon

8 Celestial Discoveries 131

9 A Passage to the Moon 147

10 "If This Account Is True, It Is Most Enormously Wonderful" 165

11 The Picturesque Beauty of the Moon 185

12 "The Astronomical Hoax Explained" 199

13 Moonshine 217

14 Monck Mason's Flying Machine 233

15 "Joice Heth Is Not Dead" 251

16 The Best Self-Hoaxed Man in New York 265

Epilogue That Tyranny Shall Be No Longer 283

Acknowledgments 299

Notes 301

Selected Bibliography 327

Index 335

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