Annotated Bibliography

Anatomy of a Beast – M. McLeod

51rD3okr15L._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_Anatomy of a Beast: Obsession and Myth on the Trail of Bigfoot
Michael McLeod
2009, University of California Press
238 pp.


The author, clearly a Bigfoot Skeptic, contends that the science response was missing from the rise of the Bigfoot phenomenon allowing a surge in Bigfoot popularity. The audience saw it as feasible and scientists almost never challenged the evidence presented. Those disillusioned by traditional science built up the hairy wild man stories and sold them to a lucrative men’s adventure market. McLeod contends that gaps and uncertainty in science was filled by others with views based on religious or other personal convictions and this was largely given a pass by the media. Bigfoot is about storytelling, he contends, not the truth. The author did not seem to grasp the scientific issues well enough to explain them and the book feels strung out. It typically gets a love or hate response from readers so it may appeal greatly to some and disgust others. Your milage may vary.
-Sharon Hill

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One thought on “Anatomy of a Beast – M. McLeod

  1. As a piece of social history, eh. As journalism, I found it interesting in places. The portrayal of Sanderson and of course Patterson are very memorable. But for me the big takeaway is MacLeod’s examination of the Patterson-Gimlin timeline for getting the film made, developed etc. I haven’t read it in years, but IIRC, he makes a pretty damning case that the claimed timeline simply can’t be true

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