Synopses & Reviews
"This essay is quite brilliant. (I was hoping it would be, so I wouldn't have to lie.) I honestly loved it from beginning to end. Lying is the most thought-provoking read of the year."
"Humans have evolved to lie well, and no doubt you've seen the social lubrication at work. In many cases, we might not think of it as a true "lie": perhaps a "white lie" once in a blue moon, the omission of a sensitive detail here and there, false encouragement of others when we see no benefit in dashing someone's hopes, and the list goes on. In Lying, Sam Harris demonstrates how to benefit from being brutallybut pragmaticallyhonest. It's a compelling little book with a big impact."
Tim Ferriss, author of the New York Times bestsellers, The 4-Hour Body, The 4-Hour Workweek, and The 4-Hour Chef
"In this brief but illuminating work, Sam Harris applies his characteristically calm and sensible logic to a subject that affects us allthe human capacity to lie. And by the book's end, Harris compels you to lead a better life because the benefits of telling the truth far outweigh the cost of liesto yourself, to others, and to society."
Neil deGrasse Tyson, Astrophysicist, American Museum of Natural History
As it was in Anna Karenina, Madame Bovary,
so it is in life. Most forms of private vice and public evil are kindled and sustained by lies. Acts of adultery and other personal betrayals, financial fraud, government corruptioneven murder and genocidegenerally require an additional moral defect: a willingness to lie.
In Lying, best-selling author and neuroscientist Sam Harris argues that we can radically simplify our lives and improve society by merely telling the truth in situations where others often lie. He focuses on "white" liesthose lies we tell for the purpose of sparing people discomfortfor these are the lies that most often tempt us. And they tend to be the only lies that good people tell while imagining that they are being good in the process.
About the Author
is the author of the New York Times
bestsellers, The End of Faith, Letter to a Christian Nation, The Moral Landscape,
and Free Will
. The End of Faith
won the 2005 PEN Award for Nonfiction.
Mr. Harris's writing has been published in more than 15 languages. He and his work have been discussed in The New York Times, Time, Scientific American, Nature, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, The Atlantic, and many other journals. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, The Economist, Newsweek, The Times (London), The Boston Globe, The Atlantic, The Annals of Neurology, and elsewhere.
Mr. Harris is a cofounder and the CEO of Project Reason, a nonprofit foundation devoted to spreading scientific knowledge and secular values in society. He received a degree in philosophy from Stanford University and a Ph.D. in neuroscience from UCLA.
Table of Contents
What is A Lie?
The Mirror of Honesty
Two Types of Lies
Lies in Extremis
Appendix 1: An Interview with Ron A. Howard
Appendix 2: Ten Questions from Readers