Bigfoot by Joshua Blu Buhs
The Life and Times of a Legend

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Last August, two men in rural Georgia announced that they had killed Bigfoot. The claim drew instant, feverish attention, leading to more than 1,000 news stories worldwide—despite the fact that nearly everyone knew it was a hoax. Though Bigfoot may not exist, there’s no denying Bigfoot mania.

With Bigfoot, Joshua Blu Buhs traces the wild and wooly story of America’s favorite homegrown monster. He begins with nineteenth-century accounts of wildmen roaming the forests of America, treks to the Himalayas to reckon with the Abominable Snowman, then takes us to northern California in 1958, when reports of a hairy hominid loping through remote woodlands marked Bigfoot’s emergence as a modern marvel. Buhs delves deeply into the trove of lore and misinformation that has sprung up around Bigfoot in the ensuing half century. We meet charlatans, pseudo-scientists, and dedicated hunters of the beast—and with Buhs as our guide, the focus is always less on evaluating their claims than on understanding why Bigfoot has inspired all this drama and devotion in the first place. What does our fascination with this monster say about our modern relationship to wilderness, individuality, class, consumerism, and the media?

Writing with a scientist’s skepticism but an enthusiast’s deep engagement, Buhs invests the story of Bigfoot with the detail and power of a novel, offering the definitive take on this elusive beast.


About Joshua Blu Buhs

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Joshua Blu Buhs is an independent scholar and the author of The Fire Ant Wars, also published by the University of Chicago Press.
Published August 1, 2009 by University of Chicago Press. 296 pages
Genres: History, Religion & Spirituality, Science & Math, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

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The New York Times

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A look back at a monster and its creators and believers.

Jun 07 2009 | Read Full Review of Bigfoot: The Life and Times o...

The Telegraph

As early as 1920 , there were reports of giant figures with long .

Jun 21 2009 | Read Full Review of Bigfoot: The Life and Times o...


This is partly because Bigfoot has been linked to the environmental movement (as a sort of peaceful “Father Earth”), but more importantly because Bigfoot has been subsumed within the consumer culture that the pioneering Bigfoot hunters worried so much about.

Jun 08 2009 | Read Full Review of Bigfoot: The Life and Times o...

Book Forum

So until we can all visit Bigfoot in a zoo and snap his photo with Auntie Marge, we’ll have to settle for Bigfoot burgers, Bigfoot rafting, Bigfoot campsites, Bigfoot motels, and Bigfoot miniature golf.

Jul 31 2009 | Read Full Review of Bigfoot: The Life and Times o...

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