Hoax Expert Debuts New Book at Lehigh Valley Heritage Museum
A Lincoln assassination scholar talks about his new book, 'Hoax,' at the Lehigh Valley Heritage Museum on Saturday
The Lehigh Valley Heritage Museum will celebate the national launch of a new book—HOAX: Hitler's Diaries, Lincoln's Assasins & Other Famous Frauds—with a talk by author Dr. Edward Steers Jr. at 1 p.m. Saturday.
A book signing will follow the presentation.
The event is free to museum members. Cost for non-members is $6 for adults and $3 for children. The museum is located at 432 W. Walnut St., Allentown.
Did a collector with a knack for making sensational discoveries really find the first document ever printed in America?
Did Adolf Hitler actually pen a revealing multivolume set of diaries?
Has Jesus of Nazareth’s burial cloth survived the ages?
Can the shocking true account of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination be found in lost pages from his murderer’s diary?
Napoleon famously observed that “history is a set of lies agreed upon,” and Edward Steers Jr. investigates six of the most amazing frauds ever to gain wide acceptance in this engrossing book.
Hoax examines the legitimacy of the Shroud of Turin, perhaps the most hotly debated relic in all of Christianity, and the fossils purported to confirm humanity’s “missing link,” the Piltdown Man. Steers also discusses two remarkable forgeries, the Hitler diaries and the “Oath of a Freeman,” and famous conspiracy theories alleging that Franklin D. Roosevelt had prior knowledge of the planned attack on Pearl Harbor and that the details of Lincoln’s assassination are recorded in missing pages from John Wilkes Booth’s journal.
The controversies that Steers presents show that there are two major factors involved in the success of a hoax or forgery—greed and the desire to believe. Though all of the counterfeits and conspiracies featured in Hoax have been scientifically debunked, some remain fixed in many people’s minds as truth.
As Steers points out, the success of these frauds highlights a disturbing fact: If true history fails to entertain the public, it is likely to be ignored or forgotten.
Edward Steers Jr., a recognized authority on the Lincoln assassination, is the author of several books, including Blood on the Moon: The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln and Lincoln Legends: Myths, Hoaxes, and Confabulations Associated with Our Greatest President.
“By demonstrating the wide variety of historical hoaxes, from forgeries of documents to prehistoric remains, Hoax reinforces that they are a widespread problem for historians as they attempt to separate fact from fiction.”—Thomas Turner, editor of the Lincoln Herald
“With his penetrating research skills, Dr. Edward Steers Jr., a seeker of truth, demolishes the most well-known hoaxes, illuminating their complex yet simple nature. A remarkable achievement, this book brings clarity to our world of misinformation that animates American culture. More than a reference, this work serves as a guide, a warning of sorts, revealing how simple it can be to fool the world.”—Joseph Garerra, Executive Director, Lehigh Valley Heritage Museum