The Greatest Hoax on Earth: Catching Truth, While We Can
by Alan C. Logan
Glass Spider Publishing

"The public has woken up in shock, only to discover much of the new media is no longer providing unbiased facts at all."

This meticulously researched and well-written expose is an attempt by the author to unmask Frank Abagnale, the sharp-dressing con man of Steven Spielberg's Catch Me If You Can. A liar from his troubled teen years on, Abagnale was addicted to forging checks, extravagant tales regarding professional careers reportedly held, manipulating people willing to believe in or market his image, and escaping punishment that was his due. Refusing to make restitution, he eventually made enemies of those who had supported him and wanted, at least, an apology.

Logan's book is also a treatise on how easily hoaxes in the post-truth era can occur. Scattered among the facts of Abagnale's capers are insights on circular arguments, strategic ignorance, and mythomania (repetitive fabrication) used to promote a hoaxter. Nowadays, anyone can sell fiction as fact, even with fact-checkers as close to hand as a smartphone. This is a time when elaborate storytelling memoirs win readers, and "truth can be discarded on the cutting room floor of history."

The author was educated in Northern Ireland during its troubling times when the concepts of conflict, injustice, and equality were considered and often rejected. Unlike his other peers, Logan chose writing to restore the truth to its rightful place. While researching hoaxes, he became fascinated with Spielberg's movie. That is when he set out to help vindicate those who Frank Abagnale, the greatest con man, had conned. There is an extensive resource section, which is needed to collate the voluminous information available. Many entries refer to facts uncovered by earlier reporters who delivered the truth accurately. This book specifically provides Abagnale's victims a voice while giving the offender an in-person opportunity to repent. Logan's book educates a new generation regarding one of the great hoaxes of the century.

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