Thursday, May 19, 2016

Lies, Incorporated - Ari Rabin-Havt

I've been a bit remiss in getting my Shelf Awareness reviews posted lately, so I'm going to try to have a run of them here and catch up. Today's review is Lies, Incorporated: The World of Post-Truth Politics and it first appeared in Shelf Awareness for Readers. I am posting it today with their permission.  A very good read for this political season.

First line: "Richard Berman is a liar."

While researching The Fox Effect, The Agenda radio host, Ari Rabin-Havt continually questioned where lies and propaganda filtering through the controversial news network were originating. As he points out, "Lies do not simply appear and take hold. They must be developed, introduced, and nurtured into the public discourse." Rabin-Havt's research into various falsehoods indicated the existence of a profitable industry doing just that on behalf of those willing to pay for it. He called this business Lies, Incorporated. Bestowing the name on his book, Rabin-Havt examines the origins of some of the most significant deceptions muddying the current political waters.

Through meticulous examinations of issues such as climate change, immigration reform, gun control and others--issues where scientists and other researchers have publicly debunked the lies preventing progress, yet they continue to cling to the important conversations and debates--Rabin-Havt theorizes Lies, Incorporated is a result of "a political culture where ideological victory, not progress, is the ultimate goal. Where what is good for my country plays second fiddle to what is good for the bottom line of my clients." 

Well-researched and documented, Lies, Incorporated presents hot button topics with diplomacy and tact. It won't likely convince every reader to relinquish the stronghold on their ideologies--Rabin-Havt himself says, "it is far easier to ignore the truth than to confront the failure of your argument"--but it is convincing motivation to closely scrutinize the evidence on which one bases their beliefs and hold the political media accountable for reporting practices.

Lies, Incorporated is available in trade paperback (ISBN: 9780307279590) from Anchor Books and as an unabridged audiobook (ISBN: 9781515956334), narrated by Mike Chamberlain from Tantor Audio.

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