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How Bullshit Conquered the World

James Ball



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01 January 2018
Cultural studies; Politics & government; Propaganda; Press & journalism
2016 marked the dawn of the post-truth era. The year saw two shock election results, each of which has the potential to reshape the world: the UK's decision to leave the EU, and the elevation of Donald Trump to the office of US President. The campaigns highlighted many of the same issues in their home countries: social division, anger at the elite, anti-immigration sentiment and more-but, more than anything, they heralded an unprecedented rise of bullshit.

Sophistry and spin have been part of politics since the dawn of time. But the modern era sees millions being fed false reports that Hillary Clinton ordered 30,000 guillotines to use on her opponents following her victory, while Trump claims he "never said that" about speeches recorded on video.

Post-truth is bigger than fake news and bigger than social media. It's about the slow rise of a political, media, and online infrastructure that has devalued truth. Bullshit gets you noticed. Bullshit makes you rich. Bullshit can even pave your way to the Oval Office. This is the story of bullshit: what's being spread, who's spreading it, why it works-and what we can do to tackle it.

James Ball has worked in political, data, and investigative journalism in the United States and in the UK for BuzzFeed, The Guardian, and the Washington Post in a career spanning TV, digital, print, and alternative media. His reporting has won several prizes including the Pulitzer Prize for public service.
By:   James Ball
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 198mm,  Width: 129mm,  Spine: 32mm
ISBN:   9781785902147
ISBN 10:   1785902148
Pages:   320
Publication Date:   01 January 2018
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

James Ball has worked in political, data and investigative journalism in the US and UK for BuzzFeed, The Guardian and the Washington Post in a career spanning TV, digital, print and alternative media. His reporting has won the Pulitzer Prize for public service, the Scripps Howard Prize, the British Journalism Award for investigative reporting, The Royal Statistical Society Award and the Laurence Stern Fellowship, among others.

Reviews for Post-Truth: How Bullshit Conquered the World

A timely and important book by one of the smartest of the new generation of journalists and thinkers. - Alan Rusbridger, former Guardian editor-in-chief; In the era of Trump, bullshit is spreading like a pandemic. In Post-Truth, Ball has put on his Hazmat suit, waded into the most infected areas of the world, and found a way to stop the plague. - Alex Gibney, Academy Award-winning documentary maker; Fake news, post-truth and propaganda are all symptoms of a news ecosystem and political culture that incentivises clickbait and confrontation. There has never been a time when it was easier to spread stories that were untrue, and never a more important time to be able to sort the facts from the bullshit. James Ball has produced a timely and thoroughly readable guide to how to navigate a sea of falsehoods through a storm of hyperbole, bias and propaganda. - Emily Bell, director of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University; James Ball's analysis of all this is careful, methodical and thoughtful... It's a compelling look at what we like to think of as a modern phenomenon. - Reaction Life

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