I Wear the Black Hat

I Wear the Black Hat: Grappling with Villains (Real and Imagined) is a book written by Chuck Klosterman, first published by Scribner in 2013. It is a collection of twelve essays examining the nature of villainy through the lens of popular culture, rock music, and sports.[2] It is the eighth book released by Klosterman. The book debuted at number 5 on the New York Times bestseller list.[3]

I Wear the Black Hat: Grappling with Villains (Real and Imagined)
I Wear the Black Hat (Chuck Klosterman book).jpg
The first edition cover
AuthorChuck Klosterman
CountryUnited States
SubjectPop culture
Publication date
July 9, 2013
Media typePrint (hardcover and paperback)
LC Class2013003049
Preceded byThe Visible Man (2011) 
Followed byWhat If We're Wrong: Thinking About the Present As If It Were the Past (2016)[1] 


I Wear the Black Hat investigates the thesis: A villain is someone who knows the most but cares the least.[4] The book explores how and why villains react, and also how many essays surround famous athletes and musicians.[5]


I Wear the Black Hat consists of twelve essays:


The book received mixed reviews, with The A.V. Club giving it a B-.[6][7] Writing for the New York Times, James Parker said I Wear the Black Hat is, "...not [Klosterman's] best book, but in considering it we should remember the young person, probably not a reader of The New York Times, to whom its haphazardness, its occasional pointlessness and above all its difficulty keeping a straight face will come as sweet, sweet relief."[8] Publishers Weekly wrote of Klosterman, "His circuitous arguments are occasionally self-indulgent and too reminiscent of David Foster Wallace, but the writing is always intellectually vigorous and entertaining." Michael Robbins said in his review of the book in the Chicago Tribune that, "What's most frustrating about "I Wear the Black Hat" is that I'd love to read a good version of it."[9]


  1. ^ Jones, Nate Chuck Klosterman Is Writing a Book About the Possibility of Us Being Wrong About, Well, Everything Vulture. January 19, 2016
  2. ^ Hyman, Dan Chuck Klosterman on His New Book, 'I Wear The Black Hat' Rolling Stone. January 19, 2016
  3. ^ Coulter, Catherine Inside the List January 19, 2016
  4. ^ Reynold, Daniel The Villain Syndrome: Why Movies Need More Hans Gruber SamePageTeam. January 21, 2016
  5. ^ Miller, Laura “I Wear the Black Hat”: Villainy for beginners Salon. January 21, 2016
  6. ^ Rizov, Vadim Chuck Klosterman: I Wear The Black Hat: Grappling With Villains (Real And Imagined) A.V. Club. January 20, 2016
  7. ^ Wheeler, Brad Dissecting Chuck Klosterman and his latest pop-culture offering Globe and Mail. January 20, 2016
  8. ^ Parker, James Badfellas: Chuck Klosterman’s ‘I Wear the Black Hat’ New York Times. January 20, 2016
  9. ^ Robbins, Michael Review: 'I Wear the Black Hat' by Chuck Klosterman Chicago Tribune. January 20, 2016

External linksEdit