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Charlatan: The Fraudulent Life of John…
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Charlatan: The Fraudulent Life of John Brinkley (2008)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
5483233,016 (3.81)53
Tells the story of the little-known Dr. John Brinkley and his unquenchable thirst for fame and fortune and Morris Fishbein, a quackbuster extraordinaire who relentlessly pursued the greatest charlatan of the 1920s and 1930s.
Medlem:nikkiroy
Titel:Charlatan: The Fraudulent Life of John Brinkley
Forfattere:
Info:Phoenix
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
Vurdering:
Nøgleord:to-read, 2021-want-to-read

Detaljer om værket

Charlatan: America's Most Dangerous Huckster, the Man Who Pursued Him, and the Age of Flimflam af Pope Brock (2008)

  1. 00
    Catch me if you can af Frank W. Abagnale (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: Readers who enjoy dramatic tales of swindlers chased by the FBI may like both Charlatan and Catch Me If You Can, which chronicle the lives of men who successfully deceived everyone around them for years, amassing fortunes along the way.… (mere)
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» Se også 53 omtaler

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This book is so fun. It's written a bit sensationally, but then again how else do you tell the story of a psycho con man fake doctor who became one of the richest men America by surgically inserting diced goat balls into old men's scrotums, was cheated out of the Governorship of Kansas, basically invented modern day campaigning, revolutionized marketing, started and ran the most powerful and popular radio station in the country (from mexico) that featured astrologists and psychics, introduced America to "hillbilly" music (including the Carter Family), caught the largest tuna ever recorded in the western hemisphere from his yacht, sold millions of dollars worth of colored water and diluted poisons all around the country during the great depression, was a Nazi sympathizer, and likely killed around 100 people. More than almost any "scholarly" history I've ever read, this book accurately portrays something very real about the character of America: if you are good enough at selling, it doesn't matter what you do or know or make or believe. Especially in Kansas. ( )
  Jetztzeit | May 15, 2020 |
Excellent history ( )
  John_Danenbarger | Sep 2, 2019 |
5624. Charlatan America's Most Dangerous Huckster, the Man Who Pursued Him, and the Age of Flimflam, by Pope Brock (read 4 May 2019) This book is about "Doctor" John Brinkley who was born in 1885 and died in 1942. I remember in my youth hearing about him and the powerful radio station he had in Del Rio, Texas, or, rather, just across the border in Mexico-- It was so powerful we could hear it in Iowa. I was under 10 years old and did not know about Brinkley's fantastic behavior. I became interested in Brinkley when I began to wonder what happened to Harry Woodring, who was Secretary of War from 1936 to 1940 when FDR asked for his resignation so Stimson could be appointed Secretary of War.. I learned that in 1930 Woodring had been elected Governor of Kansas, but only because Brinkley, who was a write-in candidate, was in effect counted out because only if "John R. Brinkley" was the way his name was written were the write-ins counted for him; thus if "Doctor Brinkley" was written on the ballot it was not counted for John R. Brinkley. This resulted in Harry Woodring being elected Governor.. In 1932 Brinkley ran for Governor again but lost to Alf Landon--who the Republicans nominated for President in 1936. Anyway, the book tells of the outrageous fraud Brinkley was and how he made millions (in Depression time) by telling men he could restore their virility by inserting goat glands in their scrotum! I was amazed that so many people were taken in by the awful things Brinkley said and did, but then reflected on the hold our current President has on millions and that Brinkley had so many who fell for his quackery I had to conclude maybe was not so surprising. The book tells the story of Brinkley's successes and eventual fall but could have been much more ably researched and better written. ( )
  Schmerguls | May 4, 2019 |
2 1/2 stars: I didn't particularly like it or dislike it; mixed or no real interest

From the back cover: In 1917, John R. Brinkley-- America's most brazen con man--introduced an outlandish surgical method for restoring male virility. It was all nonsense, but thousands of eager customers quickly made "Dr" Brinkley one of America's richest men and a national celebrity. The great quack buster Morris Fishbein vowed to put the country's "most daring and dangerous" charlatan out of business, yet each effort seemed only to spur Brinkley to new heights of ingenuity, and the worlds of advertising, broadcasting, and politics soon proved to be equally fertile grounds for his potent brand of flimflam. Culminating in a decisive courtroom confrontation, Charlatan is a marvelous portrait of a boundlessly audacious rogue on the loose in an America ripe for bamboozling.

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My good friend JB is a nonfiction reader like me, and has similar tastes. He had raved about this book for some time, and then ultimately gave me an answer I couldn't refuse--- if I were to read and complete this book, he'd read any book that I recommended to him.

Unfortunately, it was only that challenge that kept me reading. As the descriptor notes above, it wasn't a bad book, but I just never felt the love for it that JB did. It reminds me very much of Larson's "Devil in the White City"-- another book which JB loved. I didn't dislike DWC, but also never felt engaged in it or very compelled by the story.

Nevertheless, a few quotes I liked:

"Nevertheless, [pioneer researchers who ultimately failed] have a place in the history of science. Wrong, they helped point the way for others to be right. They fought as bravely for error as more fortunate prophets fought for truth. In science, as in love, it is sometimes extraordinarily hard todraw the line between faith and folly."

"In his 1923 book ... Bernays put forth the arresting notion that public relations could serve as a replacement for God. Staggered by the slaughter in the recent world war, he said, millions had fallen away from religion. Groping in an existential fog, they craved direction, a sense of purpose. Who could supply it? Why, big business. In an era when, thanks to advances in the study of human psychology, "it is now possible to control and regiment the masses according to our will without their knowing it, " America's corporations had not only the opportunity but the duty to wield this power. Without "publicity as an instrument of control " a godless world would result in chaos.

[I think a book on those early advertising years and links to psychology would be an interesting read].

"Puritanism, famously defined by Mencken as "the haunting fear that someone, somewhere, might be happy" is as American as lighting out for the territory, and with the advent of radio the old war between the cowboys and the killjoys had broken out again. No soon had the Prohibition been the law of the land than broadcasting arrived, a miracle of fun and adventure that sent the puritans running right back to their storehouse of wet blankets." ( )
  PokPok | Sep 2, 2017 |
A raucous tale told with raucous and ribald humor. ( )
  kalinichta | Jun 30, 2017 |
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Tells the story of the little-known Dr. John Brinkley and his unquenchable thirst for fame and fortune and Morris Fishbein, a quackbuster extraordinaire who relentlessly pursued the greatest charlatan of the 1920s and 1930s.

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