Bigfoot: The Life and Times of a Legend by Joshua Blu Buhs, who has a PhD in the history and sociology of science, is his quasi-academic cryptozoology pop culture examination book, free for a limited time courtesy of the the University of Chicago Press.
This is an accessibly-written pop-cultural historiography and sociology book from an open-minded skeptic, examining vintage and modern accounts of Bigfoot and related legendary creatures from around the world such as sasquatch and yeti, as well as assessing their impact and changing popularity in media depictions over time.
Offered through the month of July, available worldwide.
Free for a limited time, available worldwide throughout July as their featured Free Book of the Month directly @ the university’s dedicated promo page (ADE-DRM PDF, requires valid email address). You can also read more about the book and see a table of contents as well as a sample chapter at its catalogue page.
If you happen to be interested, there’s also a nifty-looking interview with the author, done by the University of Chicago Press, available at this link.
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.