"A lie’s true power cannot be accurately measured by the number of people who believe its deception when it is told, it must be measured by the number of people who will go out after hearing it trying to convince others of its truth.” -- Dennis Sharpe
but for some readers the subtext ofA Brief History of Timewas a human interest story about a genius who overcame his disability. Multiple reviews from the time touch on this. Hawking said in the Journal that it probably helped sales, but he signaled he was uneasy with such a reading.
Hawking and others have long joked that many people purchased his book because it made them look smart but never bothered to read it. “He agreed that the book, Brief History of Time, was probably the least-read, most-bought book ever,”