The Death of Truth: Notes on Falsehood in the Age of Trump

The Death of Truth: Notes on Falsehood in the Age of Trump

by Michiko Kakutani


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NEW YORK TIMES Editors' Choice

From the Pulitzer Prize-winning critic comes an impassioned critique of America’s retreat from reason

We live in a time when the very idea of objective truth is mocked and discounted by the occupants of the White House. Discredited conspiracy theories and ideologies have resurfaced, proven science is once more up for debate, and Russian propaganda floods our screens. The wisdom of the crowd has usurped research and expertise, and we are each left clinging to the beliefs that best confirm our biases.
How did truth become an endangered species in contemporary America? This decline began decades ago, and in The Death of Truth, former New York Times critic Michiko Kakutani takes a penetrating look at the cultural forces that contributed to this gathering storm. In social media and literature, television, academia, and politics, Kakutani identifies the trends—originating on both the right and the left—that have combined to elevate subjectivity over factuality, science, and common values. And she returns us to the words of the great critics of authoritarianism, writers like George Orwell and Hannah Arendt, whose work is newly and eerily relevant.
With remarkable erudition and insight, Kakutani offers a provocative diagnosis of our current condition and points toward a new path for our truth-challenged times.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780525574828
Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
Publication date: 07/17/2018
Pages: 208
Sales rank: 400,373
Product dimensions: 4.80(w) x 7.40(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Michiko Kakutani is a Pulitzer Prize-winning literary critic and the former chief book critic of The New York Times.

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Copyright © 2018 Michiko Kakutani.
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Table of Contents

Introduction 11

1 The Decline and Fall of Reason 21

2 The New Culture Wars 43

3 "MOI" and the Rise of Subjectivity 61

4 The Vanishing of Reality 77

5 The Co-Opting of Language 89

6 Filters, Silos, and Tribes 105

7 Attention Deficit 119

8 "The Firehose of Falsehood": Propaganda and Fake News 135

9 The Schadenfreude of the Trolls 151

Epilogue 165

Notes 175

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