Born Liars: Why We Can't Live Without Deceit

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House of Anansi, May 21, 2011 - Philosophy - 400 pages
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Lying is an intrinsic part of our social fabric, but it is also a deeply problematic and misunderstood aspect of what makes us human. Ian Leslie takes us on a fascinating journey that makes us question not only our own relationship to the truth, but also virtually every daily encounter we have. On the way he dissects the history of the lie detector, how parents affect their children’s attitude to lying (and vice versa), Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, the philosophical ambiguity of telling the truth, Bill Clinton’s presentational prowess, Wonder Woman’s lasso of truth, and why we should be wary of anyone with more than 150 Facebook friends.

Born Liars is thought-provoking, anecdotally driven narrative nonfiction at its best. Ian Leslie’s intoxicating blend of anthropology, biology, cultural history, philosophy, and popular psychology belies a serious central message: that humans have evolved and thrived in large part because of their ability to deceive.

 

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User Review  - adpaton - LibraryThing

Although I regard Pop Psychology with abhorrence akin to that of a Muslim presented with a plate of pork – and the religious analogy is apt because Leslie accuses God of being the first liar – this ... Read full review

Contents

Introduction
1
1 The Lying Animal
5
2 First Lies
23
3 Confabulators
53
4 Tells and Leakages
81
5 The Dream of a Truth Machine
119
6 I Me Lie
159
7 I Am Nice and in Control
199
Part Two
269
10 The Murderer at the Door
295
How to be Honest
325
Notes
337
Further Reading
347
Bibliography
357
Acknowledgements
377
Index
381

Part One
239

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About the author (2011)

Ian Leslie is the critically acclaimed author of Born Liars: Why We Can’t Live Without Deceit, which was a Globe and Mail Top 100 Book. He has written about politics, culture, marketing, and psychology for the Guardian, The Times, Prospect, and the BBC. He lives in London, England.

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