Gregory Dowd's new book Groundless: Rumors, Legends, and Hoaxes on the Early American Frontier released
Gregory Dowd's new book Groundless: Rumors, Legends, and Hoaxes on the Early American Frontier released by Johns Hopkins Press. Dowd explores why half-truths, deliberate lies, and outrageous legends emerged in the first place, how they grew, and why they were given such credence throughout the New World. Arguing that rumors are part of the objective reality left to us by the past—a kind of fragmentary archival record—he examines how uncertain news became powerful enough to cascade through the centuries. Drawing on specific case studies and tracing recurring rumors over many generations, Groundless explains the seductive power of unreliable stories in the eastern North American frontiers from the sixteenth to the mid-nineteenth centuries.