Born Liars: Why We Can't Live Without Deceit
We hate lies, and liars. But if lying is wrong, why do we all do it – to others, and to ourselves?
In BORN LIARS, Ian Leslie takes the reader on an exhilarating tour of ideas that brings the latest news about deception back from the frontiers of psychology, neuroscience and philosophy, and explores the role played by lies – both black and white – in our childhoods, our careers, and our health, as well as in advertising, politics, sport and war. Drawing on thinkers as varied as Augustine, Charles Darwn, Sigmund Freud and Joni Mitchell, the author argues that, far from being a bug in the human software, lying is central to who we are; that we cannot understand ourselves without first understanding the dynamics of deceit.
BORN LIARS is crammed with gripping stories: we peer inside the mind of Saddam Hussein, hear about a spy who beat a lie detector, and meet a man who truthfully confessed to a murder he never committed.
After reading BORN LIARS you’ll never think about lies – or life – in quite the same way again
’A genuine achievement: a lively, engaging read that makes a bold argument about the role of lying in our lives. The first truly honest appraisal of our human capacity for deception.’ -- Steven Johnson, author of EVERYTHING BAD IS GOOD FOR YOU
'A dazzling exploration of this universal trait, from an exciting new talent. Read BORN LIARS, and you'll be stimulated, surprised, and thoroughly entertained. Believe me' -- Richard Wiseman, author of 59 SECONDS
‘An absolutely fascinating tour of this most uniquely human of talents: the ability to lie.’ -- Jonah Lehrer, author of HOW WE DECIDE
‘BORN LIARS reads like the very best of detective stories – an illuminating, surprising and highly entertaining investigation of our daily lies. I lied my way out of a social engagement and stayed up all night to finish it’ -- Kate Fox, author of WATCHING THE ENGLISH
‘A lucid and entertaining celebration of our capacity for self-deception.’ -- Sunday Times
‘Fascinating. BORN LIARS examines how deception, of others and ourselves, is built into human consciousness. We lie – a nicer word is "confabulate" – to maintain a stable sense of self and to regulate its relations with other people. Of interest to everyone, but should be read particularly by politicians.’ -- Independent on Sunday
‘Consistently startling and fascinating. Most popular psychology books follow a depressingly familiar path: there’s some dodgy theorising at the beginning, then a raft of dubious statistics with a few anecdotes to back them up. BORN LIARS, however, is in quite a different league. It’s erudite yet wears its learning lightly and is full of terrific stories. It will also make you see yourself, and the world around you, in a new light.’ -- 'Book of the Week', Daily Mail
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