Lying in State: Why Presidents Lie--And Why Trump Is Worse

Eric Alterman (Author) Sean Patrick Hopkins (Read by)


This definitive history of presidential lying reveals how our standards for truthfulness have eroded -- and why Trump's lies are especially dangerous.

If there's one thing we know about Donald Trump, it's that he lies. But he's by no means the first president to do so. In Lying in State, Eric Alterman asks how we ended up with such a pathologically dishonest commander in chief, showing that, from early on, the United States has persistently expanded its power and hegemony on the basis of presidential lies. He also reveals the cumulative effect of this deception-each lie a president tells makes it more acceptable for subsequent presidents to lie-and the media's complicity in spreading misinformation. Donald Trump, then, represents not an aberration but the culmination of an age-old trend.

Full of vivid historical examples and trenchant analysis, Lying in State is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand how we arrived in this age of alternative facts.

Product Details

$40.00  $36.80
Basic Books
Publish Date
August 11, 2020
5.5 X 1.1 X 5.8 inches | 0.55 pounds
Compact Disc

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About the Author

Eric Alterman is a distinguished professor of English at the City University of New York Brooklyn College and holds a PhD in history from Stanford University. He is a columnist for The Nation magazine and the author of eleven books.

A student of neuroscience and speech pathology, Sean Patrick Hopkins has translated his understanding of human behavior and vocal performance into a career in storytelling. His classical training and versatility with dialects has helped to create distinct and varied characters across many genres. In addition to narrating over 100 audiobooks, he has been seen and heard on film, television, video games, and stages in New York City and across the country. When not in the booth, you can find him buried in genealogy research, out exploring our National Parks, and raising an amazing daughter alongside his wife, fellow narrator Patricia Santomasso.


"An absolutely compelling book for our troubled times."

-- "Kai Bird, Pulitzer Prize-winning author"

"A colorful history. Alterman seduces his readers into an intelligent conversation about all the lies--the necessary lies, the white lies, the pathetic lies and the quite consequential lies. And by the end of the story he explains the media's culpability in the rise of Trump and why this president's lies are so very different from all the others. An absolutely compelling book for our troubled times."

-- "Kai Bird, Pulitzer Prize-winning author"