From Benjamin Franklin’s newspaper hoax that faked the death of his rival to Abbie Hoffman’s attempt to levitate the Pentagon, pranksters, hoaxers, and con artists have caused confusion, disorder, and laughter in Western society for centuries. Profiling the most notorious tricksters from the 1600s to the present day, Pranksters explores how “pranks” are part of a long tradition of speaking truth to power and social critique. More than just a simple how-to or compendium of college tricks, Pranksters provides the first overarching history of deception. Written in an accessible, story-driven style, Pranksters reveals how mischief makers have left their shocking, entertaining, and educational mark on modern political and social life.
“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.”
“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