BBC "Newsnight" presenter and broadcaster Evan Davis has signed a deal to publish Post-Truth to explain "why bullshit is both pervasive and persistent".
The book, to be published by Little, Brown, joins a number of forthcoming titles reflecting on our "post-truth" times, in wake of the UK's decision to Brexit and Donald Trump's presidency in the US. Concerns about politicians and media outlets using lies, alternative facts and "fake news" has led the word "post-truth" to be named 2016's international word of the year by Oxford Dictionaries.
According to Little, Brown, Davis originally conceived the idea for his book back in 2013, intending to offer insights how spin is employed across "all walks of life", not just politics. Examples extend to company annual reports and excitable headlines to tackle exaggeration, euphemism and economy with the truth, as well as outright lies. Subtitled Why We Have Reached Peak Bullshit and What We Can Do About It, it draws on behavioural science, economics, psychology and Davis' knowledge of the media to set out "why bullshit has apparently become the communications strategy of our time".
Its publication date has brought forward by a several months in light of recent politics to publish this spring, on 25th May 2017, priced £20, while the topic is "more relevant than ever". UK and Commonwealth rights were acquired through Will Francis at Janklow & Nesbit UK.
Tim Whiting, publisher of Little, Brown Non-Fiction, said: "Evan started researching and writing this book in 2013, and although it became more relevant than ever during the past year, it is not solely a reaction to Trump and Brexit. They are part of the picture, for sure, but Evan has created a rich, rigorous and revealing piece of work that draws on a variety of sources and presents his nuanced view in an accessible narrative.
"Far from a book exclusively concerned with politics or a look at why 2016 happened, Evan shows why post-truth is not black and white but grey – and we are all guilty of it. It has both good and bad uses. What Evan has achieved here gives us an understanding of how to separate the good from the bad and to establish where post-truth has gone too far."
Davis' title joins one Biteback is publishing on a similar subject called Post-Truth: How Bullshit Conquered the World, by journalist James Ball, which explores how sophistry and spin have "plumbed dangerous new lows" in our political discourse, out July. Ebury is publishing Matthew d'Ancona's Post-Truth: The New War on Truth and How to Fight Back, another investigation into the current political period, out this month; and, most recently announced during the London Book Fair, Quercus revealed it is publishing A Short History of Truth: Consolations for a Post-Truth World by Philosophers' Magazine editor Julian Baggini.
Davis can be seen in video discussing his book here. As well as appearing on "Dragons’ Den" on BBC 2, he was a presenter on Radio 4's "The Today programme" for six years and prior to "Today" he was Economics Editor of the BBC.