Western Washington University Alumni Book Club - October Event

Hype book cover next to stack of books

Wednesday, October 13, 2021
5:15-6:30 p.m. PDT




Join us for our 5th meeting of the WWU Alumni Association Book Club on Wednesday, October 13. James McCafferty, Director of Western's Center for Economic and Business Research, will be moderating a discussion on Hype by Garbrielle Bluestone.

You can join the Book Club Group in WE Connect to catch any book club announcements, as well as connect with your fellow book club members between monthly meetings.

Make sure to pick up a copy of the book from your favorite local bookstore, and register for the October Book Club meeting through the link below.

Hype: How Scammers, Grifters, and Con Artists Are Taking Over the Internet—and Why We're Following

by Gabrielle Bluestone

From Gabrielle Bluestone, former Vice journalist and executive producer of hit Netflix documentary Fyre, comes an eye-opening look at the con artists, grifters and snake oil salesmen of the digital age—and why we can’t stop falling for them.

We live in an age where scams are the new normal. A charismatic entrepreneur sells thousands of tickets to festival that never happened. Respected investors pour millions into a start-up centered around fake blood tests. Reviewers and celebrities flock to London’s top-rated restaurant that’s little more than a backyard shed. These unsettling stories of today’s viral grifters have risen to fame and hit the front-page headlines, yet the curious conundrum remains: why do these scams happen?

Drawing from scientific research, marketing campaigns, and exclusive documents and interviews, Bluestone delves into the irresistible hype that fuels our social media ecosystem, whether it’s from the trusted influencers that peddled Fyre or the consumer reviews that sold Juicero. A cultural examination that is as revelatory as it is relevant, Hype pulls back the curtain on the manipulation game behind the never-ending scam season, and how we as consumers can stop getting played.

Hype is the best kind of nonfiction: juicy, sharp, savage and wildly entertaining, with a celebrity behaving badly on every page. What more could you want?” - Cat Marnell, New York Times bestselling author of How to Murder Your Life.

James McCafferty

James McCafferty


James McCafferty is Director of Western’s Center for Economic and Business Research. In this role he seeks to broaden the connections between the University, the College of Business and Economics and the real world – businesses, non-profits and government agencies – through student internships, classroom based projects and consultative projects drawing on faculty, staff and students.

James brings a unique perspective and critical tools to problems faced by organizations today based on professional and community service experience at local, regional, and national levels. He blends the best approaches from the for-profit, non-profit, government, and individual sectors to create unique blended responses that are effective, efficient, and practical while also maintaining long-term sustainability.

James’ core skill areas include: research, financial modeling, business development, branding/identity, marketing, finance, tax and legal issues (from a lay perspective), operations, growth management, and strategic partnering. James has an MBA from Western Washington University, a Bachelor of Science in Journalism/Public Relations from University of Oregon, is a Certified Global Business Professional and serves on the Board of Directors for the Association of University Business and Economic Research.

Questions and Accommodations

Daryn Vorderbruegge is the Program Director for this event. Feel free to contact Daryn at (360) 650-3723 or vorderd@wwu.edu if you have any questions or comments.

There will be auto-captions available for this event. To request closed captions, please mark the request on the registration form. Advance notice of three days to one week is appreciated.