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PROMETHEUS

In Truth

In Truth

A History of Lies from Ancient Rome to Modern America

ISBN: 9781633886247
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From ancient Rome to the current Internet age, this sweeping history of ideas explores how different epochs wrestled with the issue of truth and lies. From the ancient Greeks and Romans to the modern era, how have people determined what is true? How have those with power and influence sought to control the narrative? Are we living in a post-truth era, or is that notion simply the latest attempt to control the narrative? The relationship between truth and power is the key theme. Moving through major historical periods, the author focuses on notable people and events, from well-known leaders like Julius Caesar and Adolf Hitler to lesser-known individuals like Procopius and Savonarola. He notes distinct parallels in history to current events. Julius Caesar's publication of his Gallic Wars and Civil Wars was an early exercise in political spin not unlike what we see today. During the English Civil War and the Enlightenment, pamphleteering coupled with the new power of the printing press challenged the status quo, as online and social media does in our time. And "fake news" was already being used by German chancellor Otto von Bismarck in nineteenth-century Europe and by the "yellow journalism" of American newspaper magnates William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer near the turn of the twentieth century. The author concludes optimistically, noting that we are debating and discussing truth more fiercely today than in any previous era. The determination to arrive at the truth, despite the manipulations of the powerful, bodes well for the future of democracy.

Imprint: PROMETHEUS

By: Matthew Fraser

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Format: HARDBACK

Pages: 464

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