Synopses & Reviews
Decoding how we behave, The Truth About Lies illuminates situations where we are better off lying--to ourselves and at times to others--and why it can be a healthy psychological mechanism.
Fibbing, prevaricating, stretching the truth, white lies, of omission, of commission. Lying is so pervasive that we have countless words for it. But have you ever considered why you believed a lie you were told? More often than not, lying is as much about belief as it is about deceit.
The Truth About Lies is buttressed by a winning mixture of history, psychology, and science, and unpacks our psyches to reveal why we believe what we believe. Divided into three sections--The Lies We Tell Each Other, The Lies We Tell Ourselves, and The Lies We All Agree to Believe--Raden explores everything from swindles to cons to the long game to the big lie, including:
- Why anyone still plays a shell game and gambles when they know the house is stacked against them
- Goldbricking and the misleading nature of "facts"
- Why faith and fraud are so closely connected
- Hoaxes, hysteria and the madness of crowds
- Why we're all probably part of a pyramid scheme
- How the truth can sometimes sound like a lie
A zippy, funny, and informed history that adds fresh detail even to well-known stories, Raden's book is more primer than morality play. As she writes in her introduction: "Not that you're gonna do it, but if you were gonna do it, here's how you'd do it."
Why do you believe what you believe?
You've been lied to. Probably a lot. We're always stunned when we realize we've been deceived. We can't believe we were fooled: What was I thinking? How could I have believed that?
We always wonder why we believed the lie. But have you ever wondered why you believe the truth? People tell you the truth all the time, and you believe them; and if, at some later point, you're confronted with evidence that the story you believed was indeed true, you never wonder why you believed it in the first place. In this incisive and insightful taxonomy of lies and liars, New York Times bestselling author Aja Raden makes the surprising claim that maybe you should.
Buttressed by history, psychology, and science, The Truth About Lies is both an eye-opening primer on con-artistry--from pyramid schemes to shell games, forgery to hoaxes--and also a telescopic view of society through the mechanics of belief: why we lie, why we believe, and how, if at all, the acts differ. Through wild tales of cons and marks, Raden examines not only how lies actually work, but also why they work, from the evolutionary function of deception to what it reveals about our own.
In her previous book, Stoned, Raden asked, "What makes a thing valuable?" In The Truth About Lies, she asks "What makes a thing real?" With cutting wit and a deft touch, Raden untangles the relationship of truth to lie, belief to faith, and deception to propaganda.
The Truth About Lies will change everything you thought you knew about what you know, and whether you ever really know it.