The definitive wildman
Two recent reviews of Joshua Blu Buhs’ new book, Bigfoot: The Life and Times of a Legend focus attention on the author’s ability to extract a penetrating cultural critique from his book’s unlikely subject. From nineteenth-century accounts of wildmen roaming the forests of America, right up to the claims of two hunters in rural Georgia last August that they killed Bigfoot, Buhs traces the cultural transformation of the myth from its early days when “Bigfoot hunting was a means by which white working class men could… [prove] their manhood in difficult conditions,” to its various modern uses as a highly effective marketing tool.
Delivering an insightful exploration of what our fascination with this monster says about our modern relationship to wilderness, individuality, class, consumerism, and the media, Buhs’ Bigfoot offers the definitive history of the legendary wildman.
Check out the reviews on the Bookslut website and on John Rimmer’s Magonia blog. (“Magonia”—I’ll save you a trip to Wikipedia—is a magical land that is described in French folktales.)
Also, read an excerpt from the book and an interview with the author.