virus: Urban Legends

Reed Konsler (
Mon, 24 Mar 1997 19:37:21 -0500 (EST)


"The Choking Doberman...and Other 'New' Urban Legends"
by Jan Harold Brunvand, University of Utah
1984, W.W Norton and Company (New York)

Brunvand's second popular book on common American folklore. He traces the
origin of
a number of urban legends, demonstrating how these tales mutated and
changed with
telling and retelling. Many of his sources include local newspapers and
other "hardcopy"
which both allows him to show you concrete examples of each generation of
the memes
and reduces your confidence in news media substantially.

If you though that one was cool I also recommend his previous book:

"The Vanishing Hitchhiker: American Urban Legends and Their Meanings"
1981, W.W Norton (New York).

Between the two books Brunvand covers many of the legends discussed here.


Reed Konsler