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Mohrbooks Literary Agency
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Basic Books (2020-08-11)
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English
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LYING IN STATE

Why Presidents Lie - And Why Trump is Worse

by Alterman, Eric

The definitive history of presidential lying, revealing how our standards for truthfulness have erodedand why Trump's lies are especially dangerous.

If there's one thing we know about Donald Trump, it's that he lies. But he's by no means the first president to do so. In Lying in State, Eric Alterman asks how we ended up with such a pathologically dishonest commander in chief, showing that, from early on, the United States has persistently expanded its power and hegemony on the basis of presidential lies. He also reveals the cumulative effect of this deception - each lie a president tells makes it more acceptable for subsequent presidents to lie - and the media's complicity in spreading misinformation. Donald Trump, then, represents not an aberration but the culmination of an age-old trend. Full of vivid historical examples and trenchant analysis, Lying in State is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand how we arrived in this age of alternative facts.


Eric Alterman is a distinguished professor of English at CUNY Brooklyn College and holds a PhD in history from Stanford University. A columnist for the Nation, he is the author of ten previous titles, including the New York Times bestseller What Liberal Media? The Truth About Bias and the News. He lives in New York.

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Comments

This book is an attack on Trump specifically, but also a broader critique of a press that Alterman sees as complicit, and of past presidents whose legacies give Oval Office dishonesty an aggregate force... Alterman's survey is instructive, showing how, in Trump's dishonesty, there is both a stunning break and a cumulative continuity. Alterman also offers the most incisive answer I've read to a running debate of this era: when journalists should call Trump's falsehoods actual lies... A lie occurs whenever the president or someone authorized to speak for him purposely misleads the public, and a misstatement revealed as false becomes a lie when not promptly corrected

Review: The Washington Post

Interview on Blogginheads TV

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DvUPgAh-AO8&feature=youtu.be

Quote: YouTube

Sam hosts Eric Alterman, CUNY Distinguished Professor of English and Journalism, to discuss his latest book Lying in State: Why Presidents Lie - And Why Trump Is Worse, and the snowball effect lying has on the executive office.

https://majorityreportradio.com/2020/08/18/8-18-a-history-of-why-presidents-lies-and-why-trumps-the-worst-of-them-w-eric-alterman

Quote: The Majority Report

Alterman gives a whirlwind tour of purposeful deception emanating from the White House... Alterman's historical deep-dive, arriving just weeks before the 2020 election, is... important. Lying in State conclusively demonstrates that Trump has, as a matter of fact, taken lying to a dangerous new level. He has not just lied; he has endeavored to make truth irrelevant.

Review: The Progressive

If there's one thing we know about Donald Trump, it's that he lies. But he's by no means the first president to do so. In "Lying in State," Eric Alterman asks how we ended up with such a pathologically dishonest commander in chief, showing that, from early on, the United States has persistently expanded its power and hegemony on the basis of presidential lies.

https://www.wamc.org/post/eric-altermans-new-book-presidential-lies

Quote: WAMC The Roundtable

In this history of Presidential mendacity, Alterman... delineates centuries of lies issued from the Oval Office, culminating in those of the Trump Presidency. He makes plain how Trump's elaboration of that behavior, and also the media's acquiescence, confusion, and exhaustion have eroded the country's institutions, public life, and national spirit... Joins manifestos by Timothy Snyder, Masha Gessen, and many others in raising the alarm against Trump's war on truth and, by extension, on democratic life

Review: The New Yorker

Authors piece on how Trump's lies are worse than any other president's in US history

https://www.thedailybeast.com/trump-is-far-from-the-first-presidential-liar-but-hes-definitely-the-worst?ref=scroll

Quote: Daily Beast

Prof. Eric Alterman discusses his book Lying in State: Why Presidents Lie - And Why Trump is Worse

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/prof-eric-alterman-discusses-his-book-lying-in-state/id1420197433?i=1000488412035

Quote: WBAI’s Leonard Lopate at Large

Alterman not only directly implicates a complaisant press in presidential deception, but illustrates how 'both sides,' false equivalencefetishizing journalism set the conditions for the inevitable arrival of someone like Trump to the highest elected office in the land... [A] deeply researched, historical review of presidential lying.

https://fair.org/home/american-deceptionalism/

Review: Fair

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