Friday, June 10, 2011

Mark Seal

A journalist for thirty-five years, Mark Seal is a contributing editor at Vanity Fair and the author of Wildflower: An Extraordinary Life and Mysterious Death in Africa, about the murdered wildlife filmmaker and naturalist Joan Root. Seal was a 2010 National Magazine Award finalist for his Vanity Fair profile of Clark Rockefeller.

His new book, The Man in the Rockefeller Suit: The Astonishing Rise and Spectacular Fall of a Serial Imposter, is "a stranger-than-fiction twist on the classic American success story of the self-made man-because Clark Rockefeller was totally made up."

From Seal's Q & A with Julia Buckley:

How do you account for the fact that some very smart people were utterly bamboozled by Rockefeller, while others (including one notable woman who compared the story to “The Emperor’s New Clothes”) said they never for a moment believed in him or his ridiculous persona. What might have accounted for the difference?

Of course, many who say that they knew now may not have been as vocal back then. So it’s difficult to say who really knew and who didn’t. He was extremely believable, at least in the beginning, and people are willing to believe things when they are said by some one who is seemingly educated, erudite and, most importantly, has a famous name.

To a certain extent, Rockefeller’s wife seemed to buy into his fiction because he filled a requirement in terms of her own aspirations. Do you think her ambition was the major reason that she never seemed to question all of the inconsistencies in her husband’s life?

She is...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue