Evelin Sullivan The Concise Book of Lying

ISBN 13: 9780374128685

The Concise Book of Lying

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9780374128685: The Concise Book of Lying
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Using history, mythology, anecdotes, and analyses to trace the evolution of deception throughout time, from the Bible to modern-day society, a fascinating and revealing guide discusses what motivates people to lie, what is involved in concocting an effective lie, and what the repercussions are once the lie has been dispatched. 10,000 first printing.

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About the Author:

Evelin Sullivan is the author of four novels, including The Dead Magician and The Correspondence. Born and raised in Munich, she lives in Redwood City and teaches technical writing at Stanford University.

From Publishers Weekly:

Despite some efforts at being systematic, this is a spotty, idiosyncratic treatise on the many faces of lying: historical, literary, psychological and philosophical. Meandering through "the Land of Lying," Sullivan, a novelist (The Dead Magician) and teacher of technical writing at Stanford University, begins with a wry examination of lies told by biblical characters God here is "that colossal projection of the self" moving on to trickster gods in world mythology, and from there to various lie-related issues: why liars lie; varieties of lies; how to lie well; the costs of lies. She delves into the psychology and philosophy of lying, doing better with the former than the latter: a survey of personality disorders characterized by deceptiveness is worthwhile, but her condemnation of "Aristotelian Philosophy" is uninformed. The book also includes sections on lie detection, from trial by ordeal to the polygraph, deception in wartime and deception in nature. Despite her fascination with lies, Sullivan is essentially an old-fashioned moralist who thinks that lying is, by and large, "an evil thing," while accepting that "deception is here to stay." The prose is fluid and accessible, but saddled with archness and a tendency toward the smug, as when, with unintended irony, she criticizes another writer for being "ambitious but wrongheaded." Though not a serious philosophical treatment of lying, the book tells some good stories and is moderately insightful. (Aug.) Forecast: Too broad to be a compelling catalogue of contemporary forms of lying, too random to be a history, and too much a survey to be a should-I, shouldn't-I self-help book on deception, this book seems fates to fall through the cracks.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780756770129: Concise Book of Lying

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0756770122 ISBN 13:  9780756770129
Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2001
Hardcover

9780312420475: The Concise Book of Lying

Picador, 2002
Softcover

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