Iain Dale, MD of Biteback Publishing, has acquired world rights to Post-Truth: How Bullshit Conquered the World by journalist James Ball.
Post-Truth investigates how fake news, clickbait and a deep-seated hostility to ‘experts’ have shaped our world, and how sophistry and spin have plumbed dangerous new lows in our political discourse.
2016 marked the dawn of the post-truth era. The year’s shock election results have the potential to reshape the world, but both were characterised by a dangerous disregard for facts. From the false reports that Hillary Clinton had stockpiled 30,000 guillotines to execute her opponents on taking the presidency, to Donald Trump denying he had made speeches that were recorded on video, to the infamous EU Leave campaign claims of £350 million extra funding for the NHS, politics across the world has rarely seen so many stretching the truth with such impunity. James Ball’s powerful and revealing new book explores how bullshit has infiltrated the system, why it works and what we can do to stop it spreading.
Iain Dale said: ‘I’m delighted to be publishing this timely and important investigation. James’s book is bigger than fake news and bigger than social media. It’s about the slow rise of a political, media and online infrastructure that has devalued truth – and about how we can restore balanced and intelligent debate.’
James Ball said: ‘The politics of 2016 have hit many in the political and media “bubbles” as a shock to the gut. They shouldn’t have. The way the media and politics are changing prioritises the grabby over the true, and it should be no surprise that political campaigns exploit that.
‘What we do have to do is tackle it. Without some common agreement on truth, we’re seeing the rise of the conspiracy theory, the rise of extremist bubbles, and the death of common ground. The first step in fixing a problem is acknowledging it – hopefully this book will be part of that, working out what’s gone wrong and how we can begin to fix it.’
Post-Truth will be published in July 2017 and will be supported by a major press campaign.
James Ball has worked in political, data and investigative journalism in the US and UK for BuzzFeed, The Guardian, the Washington Post and more in a career spanning TV, digital, print and alternative media. His reporting has won the Pulitzer Prize for public service, the Scripps Howard prize, the British Journalism Award for investigative reporting, the Royal Statistical Society award and the Laurence Stern Fellowship, among others.
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