I Wear the Black Hat: Grappling with Villains (Real and Imagined) by Chuck KlostermanI Wear the Black Hat: Grappling with Villains (Real and Imagined) by Chuck Klosterman

I Wear the Black Hat: Grappling with Villains (Real and Imagined)

byChuck Klosterman

Hardcover | June 2, 2015

Pricing and Purchase Info

$10.00 online 
$28.99 list price
Earn 50 plum® points

Out of stock online

Available in stores


From New York Times bestselling author, “one of America’s top cultural critics” (Entertainment Weekly), and “The Ethicist” for The New York Times Magazine, comes a new book of all original pieces on villains and villainy.

Chuck Klosterman has walked into the darkness. As a boy, he related to the cultural figures who represented goodness—but as an adult, he found himself unconsciously aligning with their enemies. This was not because he necessarily liked what they were doing; it was because they were doing it on purpose (and they were doing it better). They wanted to be evil. And what, exactly, was that supposed to mean? When we classify someone as a bad person, what are we really saying (and why are we so obsessed with saying it)? How does the culture of deliberate malevolence operate?

In I Wear the Black Hat, Klosterman questions the modern understanding of villainy. What was so Machiavellian about Machiavelli? Why don’t we see Bernhard Goetz the same way we see Batman? Who is more worthy of our vitriol—Bill Clinton or Don Henley? What was O. J. Simpson’s second-worst decision? And why is Klosterman still haunted by some kid he knew for one week in 1985?

Masterfully blending cultural analysis with self-interrogation and imaginative hypotheticals, I Wear the Black Hat delivers perceptive observations on the complexity of the antihero (seemingly the only kind of hero America still creates). I Wear the Black Hat is a rare example of serious criticism that’s instantly accessible and really, really funny. Klosterman continues to be the only writer doing whatever it is he’s doing.
Chuck Klosterman, currently a music, film, & culture critic for Ohio's "Akron Beacon Journal", began his career with "The Forum" in Fargo, North Dakota. He lives in Akron, Ohio, where he once consumed nothing but McDonald's Chicken McNuggets for seven straight days.
Title:I Wear the Black Hat: Grappling with Villains (Real and Imagined)Format:HardcoverDimensions:224 pages, 8.38 × 5.5 × 1 inPublished:June 2, 2015Publisher:ScribnerLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1439184496

ISBN - 13:9781439184493

Look for similar items by category:


Rated 5 out of 5 by from Really Cool Way of Looking at This Topic Very interesting and insightful piece of work. Makes for a great read that has you constantly questioning your own morality as well as the role of villains and how they are portrayed within our society.
Date published: 2017-03-04

Read from the Book

I Wear the Black Hat One should judge a man mainly from his depravities. Virtues can be faked. Depravities are real. — Klaus Kinski, super nihilist. I’m gonna quote a line from Yeats, I think it is: “The best lack all conviction, while the best are filled” . . . oh, no. It’s the other way around. “The best lack all conviction, and the worst are filled with a passionate intensity.” Now, you figure out where I am. — Lou Reed, super high. I’m not a good guy. I mean, I don’t hurt anybody. But I don’t help, either. — Louis C.K., super real.

Editorial Reviews

“[Klosterman’s] best work since Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs….If you’ve ever sympathized with Darth Vader, second-guessed Muhammad Ali or wondered how Bill Clinton got away with what he got away with, you’re not alone. Read I Wear the Black Hat and see for yourself.”