The Post-Truth Era

Dishonesty and Deception in Contemporary Life

Ralph Keyes

St. Martin's Press

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"Dishonesty inspires more euphemisms than copulation or defecation. This helps desensitize us to its implications. In the post-truth era we don't just have truth and lies but a third category of ambiguous statements that are not exactly the truth but fall just short of a lie. Enhanced truth it might be called. Neo-truth. Soft truth. Faux truth. Truth lite."

Deception has become the modern way of life. Where once the boundary line between truth and lies was clear and distinct, it is no longer so. In the post-truth era, deceiving others has become a challenge, a game, a habit. High-profile dissemblers compete for news coverage, from journalists like Jayson Blair and professors like Joseph Ellis to politicians (of all stripes), executives, and "creative" accountants.

Research suggests that the average American tells multiple lies on a daily basis, often for no good reason. Not a finger-wagging scolding, The Post-Truth Era is a combination of Ralph Keyes's investigative journalism and solid science. The result is a spirited exploration of why we lie about practically everything and the consequences such casual dishonesty has on society.

American society has become permeated from top to bottom by deception. Its consequences for the nature of public discourse, media, business, literature, academia, and politics are profound. With dry humor, passionate fervor, and deep understanding, Ralph Keyes takes us on a tour of a world where truth and honesty are no longer absolutes but mutable, fluid concepts.

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Book Excerpts

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IHonesty’s DeclineOneBeyond Honesty“Truth” has been displaced by “believability:”-DANIEL BOORSTIN





During years of studying deceptive behavior, psychologist Robert Feldman has made some intriguing discoveries. The older children get, the more deft they grow at lying. Popular teenagers are better liars than unpopular ones. We’re more likely to lie when our self-esteem is threatened. Such findings haven’t surprised the psychologist. Nonetheless, even Feldman was startled by what transpired when he gathered 121 college students to engage

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Reviews

Praise for The Post-Truth Era

"In the great tradition of The Organization Man and The Culture of Narcissism, Ralph Keyes both analyzes a significant trend---the triumph of prevarication---and shines a light on the path back to personal integrity. The Post-Truth Era is brilliant social criticism---and sobering reading."
- Landon Y. Jones, former editor of People and Money magazines; author of Great Expectations and William Clark and the Shaping of the West

"If you've ever wondered why so many people aren't telling the truth, you must read The Post-Truth Era! I was transfixed by what Ralph Keyes discovered. This eye-opening book covers every important base. It ranges over the entire social landscape, from politics to religion, résumé fraud to fraudulent courtship, compulsive lying to petty fibbery, alerting us to one of the most dangerous phenomena of our time: the decline of honesty. The Post-Truth Era is a remarkable and extremely important book.
- Richard Farson, Ph.D, President, Western Behavioral Sciences Institute;, author of Management of the Absurd

"Ralph Keyes's books always enlighten us about aspects of our contemporary culture. His latest book unravels the webs of deception in our national life and personal lives, and helps us understand why we lie so often---and are so often lied to. The Post-Truth Era is engaging and enlightening."
- Robert Ellis Smith, publisher of Privacy Journal; author of Privacy, and Ben Franklin's Web Site

"I am reading The Post-Truth Era for pure pleasure on this long-overlooked trait. A superb development of the subject, the nips and tucks we take on facts of life, especially in the self-presentation our image."
- T. George Harris, former editor of Psychology Today and American Health; columnist, Beliefnet; editor of Prayer Walking

"I love The Post-Truth Era. I've quoted it in conversations ranging from child rearing to complexity theory. It's one of the most provocative books I've read in recent years."
- Mary Boone, author of Leadership and the Computer and Managing Interactively

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About the Author

Ralph Keyes

Ralph Keyes's books include Timelock, The Courage to Write, and the bestselling Is There Life After High School? He has been on Oprah, 20/20,and The Today Show, as well as Fresh Air, and All Things Considered on NPR. His articles have been published in Esquire, GQ, Good Housekeeping, and Harper's. He lives in Yellow Springs, Ohio.

Ralph Keyes

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Ralph Keyes

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Available Formats and Book Details

The Post-Truth Era
Dishonesty and Deception in Contemporary Life
Ralph Keyes

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
St. Martin's Press
October 2004
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781429976220
ISBN10: 1429976225
320 pages
$7.99

Hardcover

Hardcover
St. Martin's Press
October 2004
Hardcover
ISBN: 9780312306489
ISBN10: 0312306482
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 320 pages
$24.95
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