In the mid-1950s, a late-night radio host named Jean Shepherd rallied his listeners -- who called themselves "night people" -- and ordered them to bombard bookstores with requests for a non-existent book called "I, Libertine." The surreal prank became a global sensation but got out of hand as the mainstream media began to investigate. "In our time of memes, virality, and reality blurring, the hoax Shepherd dreamt up seems extremely modern and prescient in its contours -- as does the fact that, eventually, it got out of his control," writes Matthew Callan.

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