9780393323610 198

The Liar's Tale

A History of Falsehood

November 2002


"A book too disturbing to be ignored."—Booklist, boxed review

Lies are often so subtle, so deftly woven into easily acceptable truths, that we can fail to recognize them. Turning Sisela Bok's defense of truth in her book Lying on its head, Jeremy Campbell argues that deception should no longer be seen as artificial or deviant, but as a natural part of our world. Beginning with a study of evolutionary biology and the necessity (and ultimate value) of deceit in the animal kingdom, Campbell asks the difficult question of whether falsehood might, in fact, be instinctual. Guiding the reader through classical philosophy to more contemporary thinkers such as Freud and Nietzsche, Campbell links a multitude of disciplines and ideas in lucid and engaging prose. Unsettling some of our most firmly held beliefs about truth and ethics, The Liar's Tale is a riveting work of intellectual history. "This challenging romp through the underbelly of intellectual history...is fascinating and troublesome."—New York Times Book Review "[A] beautifully written book....a crisp and remarkably readable discussion."—John Frohnmayer, The Wilson Quarterly



140 x 208 mm • 368 pages


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