When Presidents Lie: A History of Official Deception and Its Consequences

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Penguin, 2005 - Political Science - 447 pages
4 Reviews
At a time when most Americans assume that their presidents lie to them, no book could be more essential than bestselling author Eric Alterman’s devastating analysis of the costs of executive duplicity. One of the best-known left-of-center journalist-historians in America, Alterman argues that those costs are not merely moral but practical. As examples, he uses four key lies told by presidents in the postwar era. From FDR at Yalta to LBJ in Vietnam, and from JFK in Cuba to Ronald Reagan in Central America, Alterman shows how attempts to mislead the American people ended up haunting their authors and dooming the very policies they were meant to advance. Closing with an examination of the Bush deceptions in Iraq, When Presidents Lieis history at its most compelling.

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User Review  - lkrier - LibraryThing

This kind of book is right up my alley: informative, detailed, and written engagingly enough that descriptions of cabinet meetings didn't put me to sleep. As a raving left-winger Alterman's book just ... Read full review

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User Review  - rampaginglibrarian - LibraryThing

I learned a lot of history in general when reading this book and also that being a politician really means learning to lie with panache (unless you're Jimmy Carter) Read full review


On Lies Personal and Presidential
Franklin D Roosevelt Harry S Truman
John F Kennedy and the Cuban Missile Crisis
Lyndon B Johnson and the Gulf
Ronald W Reagan Central America
George W Bush
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About the author (2005)

Eric Alterman, media columnist for the Nation, is professor of English at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York, senior fellow of the Center for American Progress, and “Altercation” weblogger for MSNBC.com. He is the author of five previous books, including What Liberal Media?and Sound and Fury.

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