- Author Bio
An intense narrative of exploratory journalism exploring the huge cult of conspiracy perpetrated by Milton William Cooper, and the greater threat of American paranoia, by author Mark Jacobson.
We are living in a time of unprecedented distrust in America: faith in the government is at an all-time low, and political groups on both sides of the aisle are able to tout preposterous conspiracy theories as gospel, without much opposition. But the greatest conspiracist of this generation is a man you may not have heard of: Milton William Cooper.
A former US Naval intelligence worker, Cooper published his manifesto Behold a Pale Horse in 1991. Since then, it has gone on to sell hundreds of thousands of privately published copies, becoming the number one bestseller in the American prison system (Bookscan lists sales at 243,000 since 2005). According to Behold a Pale Horse, JFK was assassinated—because he was about to reveal that extraterrestrials were about to take over the earth—by his driver, an alien himself; AIDS is a government conspiracy to decrease the population of blacks, Hispanics, and homosexuals; the Illuminati are secretly involved with the US government to manage relationships with extraterrestrials. Cooper died in a shoot-out with Apache County police in 2001, one month after September 11th in the year in which he had predicted catastrophe.
Many of Cooper’s conclusions were driven by personal demons and a highly creative connection of dots, and yet they have shaped much of the fabric of American life in the past few decades. Terry Nichols, Timothy McVeigh’s cohort in the Oklahoma bombing, was a fan, and Beyond the Pale Horse has great appeal among rightwing radicals. On the other hand, the book transcends class and race barriers: it is read primarily by poor black criminals in prison, and appeals to people who acutely feel that society is fixed against them. It has inspired numerous hip-hop groups, and continues to do so.
In Untitled on William Cooper, journalist Mark Jacobson not only tells the story of Cooper’s fascinating life, but also provides the social and political context for American paranoia. Indeed, with the present NSA situation and countless other shadowy government dealings often in the news, aren’t we right to suspect that things may not be as they seem?
AUDIENCE: Everyone who has read Behold a Pale Horse which numbers into the hundreds of thousands—will be interested to learn more about the man behind the myths. Cooper’s theories appeal to a broad range of political ideals and have the potential to strike a nerve with a large audience.
TIMELY: We are indeed living in a time of intense paranoia and distrust in this country; Cooper’s ideas may seem preposterous to some, but they certainly provide an interesting new angle on 20th century history. Jacobson is an accessible and highly entertaining writer, and will tell Cooper’s story with insight and humor.
PUBLICITY: Jacobson is a Contributing Editor at New York Magazine and has written for The Village Voice, National Geographic, Natural History Magazine, Men’s Journal, and many more he has extensive media connections to exploit for publicity. His articles have been the basis for the TV series Taxi, the Denzel Washington film, American Gangster, the Helen Mirren/Taylor Hackford movie Love Ranch and other popular Hollywood adaptations.
CROSS PROMOTION: Simulatenous publication with the Blue Rider Press hardcover.
Marketing: Marketing Plans
Custom Penguin landing page with photos and videos from the author
Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads promotion and giveaways
Academic promotion: Include in History, Poli Sci and Socology catalogs; Library Newsletter; send galleys to ALA, APSA, ASA, AMST, PCA, OAH, SHA, AHA, and MLA
Publicity: Major national broadcast interviews: MSNBC, CNN, and Fox News, NPR/ “All Things Considered,” NPR/ “Fresh Air,” NPR/ “Morning Edition,” “All Things Considered” etc, WNYC/ “The Takeaway,” and “Leonard Lopate” WBUR/ “On Point,” WAMU/ “Diane Rehm”, etc
Major national print and online review and feature coverage: New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, New York, New Yorker, Harper’s, The Atlantic, Foreign Affairs, The Nation, The Economist, Time, Newsweek, The Daily Beast, Salon, The New Republic, Rolling Stone, Huffington Post, & conspiracy sites like Above Top Secret, Rebellion Report, Doubtful News
Publicity out of NY and by invitation
“God only makes a few genius reporters, and even in that small company, Mark Jacobson is one of a kind. He can follow his nose so deep into a story that every page is a surprise.”—Richard Ben Cramer, author of What It Takes, and Joe DiMaggio: The Hero’s Life
“Mark Jacobson is a living American Master. Read him and smile on your way to enlightenment.”—Michael Daly, New York Daily News
“For the past 30 years, Jacobson has personified New Journalism, or, as one wag has described it, the Self-Interview…Jacobson’s persona is transparent enough to allow full expression to his subjects, who also include gangsters, hipsters, reverends, cabbies, street folk, Republicans, and reggae singers. And Jacobson’s smart, rich reportage is equally unobtrusive.”—Booklist