52 Books a Year: #12 - True Enough

Posted by Brian Sat, 07 Nov 2009 20:02:06 GMT

True Enough: Learning to Live in a Post-Fact Society
By Farhad Manjoo

4.5/5

Truthiness. That is this book summed up in one word. If you are a regular watcher of The Colbert Show, then you are already familiar with the theme of the book. There is no such thing as truth in modern media and politics. Instead there are various versions of the “truth” and simply repeating a “fact” often enough can make it seem so to a wide audience. The fragmentation of media outlets that give smaller and smaller audiences exactly what they want to hear leads to “truths” with little to no basis in reality. He pushes these points home by exploring 9/11 conspiracy theories, the swift boat campaign against John Kerry, and claims that George Bush stole the 2004 election.

The big shortcoming here is that there really is no Learning to Live in a Post-Fact Society part. He outlines how the death of truth has caused collateral damage to society by reducing trust, the essential lubricant of any vibrant society. A chapter is tacked on at the end that vaguely tackles these issues, but there is no real substance to it. He doesn’t offer anything even resembling a solution.

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