In Born Liars, Ian Leslie takes the reader on an exhilarating tour of ideas that brings the latest news about deception back from the frontiers of psychology, neuroscience, and philosophy, and explores the role played by lies - both black and white - in our childhoods, our careers, and our health, as well as in advertising, politics, sport and war. Drawing on thinkers as varied as Augustine, Charles Darwin, Sigmund Freud and Joni Mitchell, the author argues that, far from being a bug in the human software, lying is central to who we are; that we cannot understand ourselves without first understanding the dynamics of deceit.
After reading Born Liars you'll never think about lies - or life - in quite the same way again.
Ian Leslie lives in London, combining careers in advertising and writing. His first book, To Be President, was described by Adam Boulton as 'brilliantly capturing the drama and emotion of Obama's successful run for the White House'. He regularly appears as an analyst of American politics on Sky and the BBC. He has written about politics, culture, marketing, and psychology for Prospect, the Guardian and The Times.
Introduction. The Lying Animal: What our intelligence owes to deceit. First Lies: How our children learn to lie (and why we should be impressed when they do). Confabulators: Liars, artists, madmen. Tells and Leakages: What are the signs of a lie? The Dream of a Truth Machine: The past, present and future of lie detectors. I Me Lie: Why we're designed to deceive ourselves. I Am Nice and In Control: The benefits and the dangers of self-deception. Lies We Live By - Part One: The medicine of deceit. Lies We Live By - Part Two: The power of stories to shape our lives. The Murderer at the Door: Is there any such thing as a white lie? Afterword - How to Be Honest: Three principles of living honestly. Notes. Further Reading. Bibliography. Acknowledgements. Index.