title ‘The Great Train Robbery’ and the Rise of the Big Lie article “This is the story of the Great Train Heist.
This is the tale of the greatest hoax ever.
This story is about how the United States of America is so obsessed with the idea of identity and what it means to be American that we’re so obsessed that we never seem to have a second thought about what identity is.”
— Tom Wolfe, The Great Train Fraud, 1968, The New Yorker (via NYT) “If you’ve been following the news, you’ve probably heard about the Great Wall of China, or maybe the Great North American Free Trade Agreement, or the Great Trans-Pacific Partnership.
The Wall of Lies has been the biggest story of all, so to talk about it is just so wrong.
But the story’s not over.
The Great Wall is only one of many stories about identity, and the Great Lies are just a small subset of what lies at the heart of this story.
What’s also important to keep in mind is that while there are many more stories about how identity is defined, and how identity shapes politics and society, none of them tell us the truth.
The story of identity isn’t really about identity at all.
Rather, it’s about the way that identity is constructed, how we define ourselves, and why we insist on our own identity.”
— Stephen Glass, The Politics of Identity, 2014, New York: Routledge, pages 622-627 (via Huffington Post)