Post-Truth: The New War on Truth and How to Fight Back by Matthew d’Ancona
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Book supplied by Netgalley for an honest review.
Trump, for all his faults, is gold dust for the entertainment industry. He’s petrol on the flames of satire, and the butt of countless books and articles that discuss every aspect of his erratic behaviour, from his handshake, to his wife’s every flinch, and the subject of this book, the fact that his supporters don’t care that he and his cohorts blatantly lie at every opportunity.
The preface of Matthew D’Ancona’s Post-Truth sets the tone, patiently explaining the issues, then demanding a call to arms: “Are you content for the central values of the Enlightenment, of free societies and of democratic discourse, to be trashed by charlatans – or not? Are you on the pitch, or content to stay on the terrace?”
Post-Truth is more than simple populism, it’s the bending of facts then the repeated denial of wrongdoing. It’s no coincidence that sales of George Orwell’s 1984 leapt after Trump’s inauguration. And those who believe Post-Truth will end when he leaves office are, as D’Ancona said, “confusing the leaves of the weed with its roots”.
Post-Truth can be traced from the end World War Two, through the rise (and decline) of post-modernism’s cynicism, the invention of the internet, to the modern phenomenon of click-bait. This is an interesting read, expertly researched and impressively written. A must read.