Post-Truth by Matthew d’Ancona is both timely and thought provoking.
In recent months we have been bombarded with allegations of “Fake News”, “the politics of fear”, “alternative facts” and wherever you sit on the political spectrum at the very least some economy in truthfulness (although nearly always from those that you already disagree with).
This is a short tour through the genesis of the phenomena that d’Ancona describes as Post-Truth written in an easily readable academic style. Starting in 2016 it follows both the Trump campaign in the US election and the Leave campaign in the UK’s EU referendum and explores how emotion and identity have replaced truth in political discourse in both countries. d’Ancona highlights the collapse of trust in experts and facts and the way that social media has magnified the impact of misinformation, conspiracy theories and ultimately Fake News.
Post-Truth is a disturbing read, the reader is left shocked at the speed with which our discussion of events has been polluted by lies and misinformation in the last 2 years. Of course the bubble effect means that most who read this book will already agree with it while those who the reader might think ‘ought’ to read it will dismiss it as a crazy liberal conspiracy theory – that may be an indication of the long journey we face to get back to a norm of debate based on fact.