From the Inside Flap
We take reputations for granted. Believing in the bad and the good natures of our notorious or illustrious forebears is part of our shared national heritage. Yet we are largely ignorant of how such reputations came to be, who was instrumental in creating them, and why. Even less have we considered how villains, just as much as heroes, have helped our society define its values. Presenting essays on Fatty Arbuckle, Herman Melville, Benedict Arnold, Warren Harding, John Brown, Sinclair Lewis, Henry Ford, and Vladimir Nabokov, Gary Fine explores the complex roles in culture and history that difficult reputations play.
About the Author
Gary Fine is a professor of sociology at Northwestern University. His many books include Manufacturing Tales: Sex and Money in Contemporary Legends and With the Boys: Little League Baseball and Preadolescent Culture.