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The Concise Book of Lying

by Sullivan, Evelin

  • ISBN: 9780374128685
  • ISBN10: 0374128685

The Concise Book of Lying

by Sullivan, Evelin

  • List Price: $25.00
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux
  • Publish date: 01/01/2003
  • ISBN: 9780374128685
  • ISBN10: 0374128685
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Description: A fleet-footed treatise on the truth about lying.

One bright morning in the fourth century b.c. the philosopher Diogenes set out with a lantern in search of an honest man. His doomed gesture makes the point clear: we're all liars. In The Concise Book of Lying novelist Evelin Sullivan tackles this most pervasive of sins, using history and mythology, anecdote and analysis, to shed light -- pace the first cynic -- on our long relationship with deception.

The book opens with a cross-cultural survey of the important -- and ambiguous -- role lying plays in a wealth of early texts and stories, from the Bible to myths about the most inventive of liars: tricksters. A Burton of deception, Sullivan asks what motivates people to lie; what mechanisms are involved in creating an effective lie; and what the costs are once we've decided to commit one. Society, dependent on truth-telling, has responded with countermeasures, from the medieval "ordeal" to the dubious lie detector test, but the fact is that for millennia we have been experts at deceit. Touching on philosophy, literature, history, and psychology, The Concise Book of Lying is an exquisitely stylish, witty, and erudite tour of the twilit realm of trickery.

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