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Author Unknown: On the Trail of Anonymous

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Author Unknown: On the Trail of Anonymous Cover

ISBN13: 9780805063578
ISBN10: 0805063579
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

From the professor with an extraordinary gift for unmasking the authors of anonymous documents comes the inside story of how he solves his most challenging cases.

In Author Unknown, Don Foster reveals a starling fact: since no two people use language in precisely the same way, our identities are encoded in our own language, a kind of literary DNA. Combining traditional scholarship with modern technology, Foster has discovered how to unlock that code and, in the process, has invented an entire field of investigation--literary forensics--by which it becomes possible to catch anonymous authors as they ultimately betray their identities with their own words.

Foster's unique skills first came to light when a front-page New York Times article announced his discovery that a previously unattributed poem was written by Shakespeare. A few weeks later, Foster solved the mystery that had obsessed America for months when he identified Joe Klein as the author of Primary Colors. Foster also took on the case of an oddball California bag lady who many believed to be the elusive Thomas Pynchon. His contributions to the Unabomber case takes us inside the tangled mind of Ted Kaczynski. And, in the final chapter, Foster makes a surprising-and heartening-discovery about a beloved holiday icon.

As entertaining as it is eye opening, Author Unknown shows us how Don Foster uses his unusual methods to search out the hidden identities behind anonymous documents of all kinds. Anyone who reads this remarkable book will find it impossible to read-or write-in the same way as before.

Synopsis:

Foster shows how he investigated an Elizabethan murder mystery and proved a forgotten poem was written by William Shakespeare, identified "Anonymous", the author of "Primary Colors", and helped the prosecution prove that the Unabomber's manifesto was written by Ted Kaczynski--and how the bomber might have been caught sooner.

Synopsis:

From the professor who invented literary forensics--and fingered Joe Klein as the author of Primary Colors--comes the inside story of how he solves his most challenging cases

Don Foster is the world's first literary detective. Realizing that everyone's use of language is as distinctive as his or her DNA, Foster developed a revolutionary methodology for identifying the writer behind almost any anonymous document. Now, in this enthralling book, he explains his techniques and invites readers to sit by his side as he searches a mysterious text for the clues that whisper the author's name.

Foster's unique skills first came to light when a front-page New York Times article announced his discovery that a previously unattributed poem was written by Shakespeare. A few weeks later, Foster solved the mystery that had obsessed America for months when he identified Joe Klein as the author of Primary Colors. Foster also took on a case involving the elusive Thomas Pynchon. And his contributions to the Unabomber and JonBenet Ramsey cases have led the FBI and several police forces to hire him to train their organizations.

Introducing a fascinating new field of forensics, Author Unknown will appeal to mystery fans-and to everyone interested in words and the writer's craft.

Description:

Includes bibliographical references (p. [283]-302) and index.

About the Author

Don Foster is an English professor at Vassar College and lives in Poughkeepsie, New York.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Gypsi, June 6, 2010 (view all comments by Gypsi)
After reading the introduction, I was hooked. I knew I'd have to read the whole thing, no matter how tedious and technical it might be. Lucky for me, it was neither. With the exception of a sometimes dull first chapter, it was a lively and entertaining book.

Foster's "literary detection" began with his doctoral thesis. He found a poem he thought likely to have been written by Shakespeare. He comparing writing styles, specific words, references and other "internal evidence" to known Shakespearian works. With this, Foster was able to determine that yes, "A Funeral Elegy" was written by the Bard himself.

Due to the press he received by this announcement, he was contacted for his opinion on the anonymous author Primary Colors. Using the same methodology, he successfully pinpointed the author as Joe Klein--who denied it vehemently for some time before admitting his authorship.

In addition to these highly publicized cases, Foster writes about his un-used work on both Unabomber case and the Talking Points, his angering of some Thomas Poyner fans and the truth behind "Twas the Night Before Christmas."

This was an entertaining and enlightening book that I highly recommend. It's certainly the only non-fiction book I've ever stayed up late to read!
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780805063578
Subtitle:
Tales of a Literary Detective
Author:
Foster, Don
Author:
Foster, Donald W.
Publisher:
Holt Paperbacks
Location:
New York :
Subject:
General
Subject:
English language
Subject:
Literature
Subject:
Criminology
Subject:
Rhetoric
Subject:
Authorship
Subject:
Research
Subject:
Forensic sciences
Subject:
Literary forgeries and mystifications
Subject:
Style, literary
Subject:
Anonymous writings.
Subject:
General True Crime
Edition Number:
1st ed.
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series Volume:
no. 00-06-026
Publication Date:
20011001
Binding:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
9.32 x 5.52 x 0.905 in 1 lb

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Related Subjects

» History and Social Science » Crime » Featured Titles
» History and Social Science » Crime » Forensics and Evidence
» Reference » Research
» Reference » Rhetoric

Author Unknown: On the Trail of Anonymous Used Hardcover
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$11.95 In Stock
Product details 320 pages Henry Holt & Company - English 9780805063578 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Foster shows how he investigated an Elizabethan murder mystery and proved a forgotten poem was written by William Shakespeare, identified "Anonymous", the author of "Primary Colors", and helped the prosecution prove that the Unabomber's manifesto was written by Ted Kaczynski--and how the bomber might have been caught sooner.
"Synopsis" by ,
From the professor who invented literary forensics--and fingered Joe Klein as the author of Primary Colors--comes the inside story of how he solves his most challenging cases

Don Foster is the world's first literary detective. Realizing that everyone's use of language is as distinctive as his or her DNA, Foster developed a revolutionary methodology for identifying the writer behind almost any anonymous document. Now, in this enthralling book, he explains his techniques and invites readers to sit by his side as he searches a mysterious text for the clues that whisper the author's name.

Foster's unique skills first came to light when a front-page New York Times article announced his discovery that a previously unattributed poem was written by Shakespeare. A few weeks later, Foster solved the mystery that had obsessed America for months when he identified Joe Klein as the author of Primary Colors. Foster also took on a case involving the elusive Thomas Pynchon. And his contributions to the Unabomber and JonBenet Ramsey cases have led the FBI and several police forces to hire him to train their organizations.

Introducing a fascinating new field of forensics, Author Unknown will appeal to mystery fans-and to everyone interested in words and the writer's craft.

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