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Publisher's Summary

Why has punditry overtaken news, with so many media outlets pushing partisan agendas instead of information? Comedian Stephen Colbert's catchword "truthiness" has captured something essential about our age: that people are more comfortable with ideas that feel true, even if the evidence for those beliefs is thin. With brilliant insights from psychology, sociology, and economics, Manjoo explains how myths pushed by both partisans and marketers - whether about global warming, the war in Iraq, 9/11, or even the virtues of a certain candy bar - have attracted wide support in recent years. His characters include the Swift Boat veterans, Lou Dobbs, and conspiracy theorists of all varieties - all of whom prove that true matters less, now, than true enough.
©2008 Farhad Manjoo (P)2008 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
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Critic Reviews

"Manjoo has produced an engaging, illustrative look at the dangers of living in an oversaturated media world." ( Publishers Weekly)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By SAMA on 05-04-09

Check Your Perspective

This book explains why some "facts" people spread are false, and how bias, half-baked ideas and the psychological desire to be heard can come in the way of hard, concrete facts.

After reading this book, I became more reserved on accepting the news I receive until I can actually verify the facts.

For everyone willing to expand their intellectual or global horizons, this book contains the cautionary tales required to avoid some pitfalls.

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Gurmukh on 11-14-08

Very interesting book, but a little lacking

"True Enough" provides an interesting analysis of how modern media has made it hard for most people to separate fact from propaganda. The examples are compelling, and the analysis is fairly well reasoned.

The author seems to have some left leaning biases that creep into his general arguments. But as he admits in the book, we all have our biases that colour the way we view the world. You really can't get away from that.

I can't help but think that the author has missed much of the point of the issue he's arguing... or at least has fallen short of it.

He points out, correctly, that there are people and organizations out there who are actively trying to shape the public discussion in their favour. This is often done surreptitiously, using nefarious means.

It is, indeed, true that we should expect people and organizations supplying us with information to disclose who is funding them. The public deserves to know if there's a possible conflict of interest.

But the book seems to suggest that this is the crux of the problem that needs to be addressed. But in reality, it's only a symptom of the problem.

The author correctly points out that the increased availability of information overwhelms people, and pushes them towards choosing only sources of information that agree with their pre-conceived notions.

But the bigger problem is why people feel overwhelmed by all the choices of information out there. The fact is that most people are just ill equipped deal with it. And the reason is that they're not trained in formal logic and critical thinking.

Some discussion of this aspect would have addressed the issue more fully. I would also have welcomed some discussion of how we can resolve this lack, and perhaps some suggestions for those wishing to become better critical consumers of information.

But disappointingly, the book stopped short of that. Still, I recommend the book for it's interesting analysis and case studies.

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13 of 14 people found this review helpful

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