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Otto English and Kathleen Wyatt - Pants on Fire

These two authors should help you to tell the truth from the many, many lies we’ve been told.

Otto English and Kathleen Wyatt - Pants on Fire

About Otto English and Kathleen Wyatt - Pants on Fire

In his fascinating new book Fake History, journalist and author Otto English takes ten great lies from history and shows how our present continues to be manipulated by the fabrications of the past.

He looks at how so much of what we take to be historical fact is, in fact, fiction. From the myths of WW2 to the adventures of Columbus, and from the self-serving legends of 'great men' to the origins of curry – fake history is everywhere and used ever more to impact our modern world.

Setting out to redress the balance, English tears apart the lies propagated by politicians and think tanks, the grand narratives spun by populists and the media, the stories on your friend's Facebook feed and the tales you were told in childhood. And, in doing so, reclaims the truth from those who have perverted it.

In a time of deep fakes, alternative truths and leaked secrets, it would be easy to think that we are surrounded by lies. How do we do this extraordinary thing – often under the most ordinary of circumstances? How do we convince each other to suspend disbelief? Do we really tell more lies today? And considering her own lies, can she even be trusted on this subject?

In her brilliant, wide-ranging study of lies and lying, The Social Superpower, Wyatt introduces us to a cast of professionals and professional liars – from scientists to investigators, from double agents to toddler specialists, from a fallen titan of industry to a Nobel Peace Prize-winning journalist. Together, they all help her prove a remarkable thesis: lies hold us together as much as they push us apart and they are vital in a healthy society.

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