m. c. de marco: To invent new life and new civilizations...

The Great Moon Hoax

Last week at Tor: Justin Howe reviewed a book about The Remarkable and True Account of Life on the Moon which was neither.

Matthew Goodman’s The Sun and The Moon: the Remarkable True Account of Hoaxers, Showmen, Dueling Journalists, and Lunar Man-Bats in Nineteenth-Century New York recounts those weeks when the city was infatuated with the Great Moon Hoax. The book brings together such disparate characters as Sir John Herschel, P.T. Barnum, and Edgar Allan Poe among others. Most entertaining of all, Goodman paints a vivid picture of the city at a time when editors fought not just in print but also in the streets. (Some similarities to the blogosphere can be found.)