The Sun and the Moon tells the delightful and surprisingly true story of how, in the summer of 1835, a series of articles in the new "penny paper," the Sun, convinced the citizens of New York that the moon was inhabited. Purporting to reveal the discoveries of a famous British astronomer, the series described such moon life as unicorns, beavers that walked upright, and four-foot-tall flying man-bats, and quickly became the most widely circulated newspaper story of the era.
Told in richly novelistic detail, The Sun and the Moon brings the raucous world of 1830s New York City vividly to life, overflowing with larger-than-life characters such as Richard Adams Locke, author of the moon series, who never intended it to be a hoax at all; a fledgling showman named P.T. Barnum, who had just brought his own hoax to New York; and the young writer Edgar Allan Poe, who was convinced that the moon series was a plagiarism of his own work.
Matthew Goodman writes the "Food Maven" column for the Forward. His writing, on food and other subjects, has appeared in the American Scholar, the Harvard Review, The Art of Eating, and many other publications. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.