The Truth about Lies: The Illusion of Honesty and the Evolution of Deceit by Aja Raden
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Imagine you’re sitting in a bar nursing an afternoon cocktail and a person takes the stool next to you. It’s a lady with raven-colored hair and an enigmatic smile. She begins telling you in colorful, bar-type language about many of the ways people have been deceived, lied to, and otherwise led to believe in a variety of dodges and gimmicks that never end in their favor.
In The Truth about Lies: The Illusion of Honesty and the Evolution of Deceit by Aja Raden I felt exactly like that. I was entertained, educated and often amused by Raden’s story of lies and the myriad ways that unethical people have taken advantage of the unsuspecting, the greedy, or merely foolish victims. Raden describes the various ploys, including the simple shell game, Ponzi schemes, forgeries, and the “long con” that people fall prey to and have for centuries. What was most illuminating was that the reason many of the deceptions were so successful was that they took advantage of the human brain and its receptors operating just as they should.
Raden has assembled an impressive source list and then presented it in an off-hand, fun, but comprehensive way. The sad thing is that after reading it, like Diogenes, you’ll be left looking for an honest man.
Thanks to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book for review.
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