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Pro Truth: A Practical Plan for Putting Truth Back Into Politics Paperback – May 29, 2020
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by David Lorimer
This is an important, timely and practical book about how to reverse the trend towards post-truth politics, fake news and viral deception. Its starting point is the Pro-Truth Pledge (protruthpledge.org) which sets out 12 principles for sharing, honouring and encouraging truth in public life....We can all learn how better to prioritise truth from the clear explanations and examples of this highly informative study by becoming more vigilant in our own analyses and interactions. - Paradigm Explorer
From the Back Cover
First, by empowering citizens to recognize and resist political lies and deceptions: Using cutting-edge neuroscience research, Tsipursky and Ward show you the tricks post-truth politicians use to exploit our mental blindspots and cognitive biases. They will share with you strategies to protect yourself and others from these threats. Second, /Pro Truth/ addresses the damage caused by the spread of fake news on social media, providing you with effective techniques for fighting digital misinformation. Third, Tsipursky and Ward argue for exerting pressure on politicians, media, and other public figures. Doing so requires new incentives for telling the truth, new penalties for lying, and new ways of communicating across the partisan divide. To put this plan into action requires the rise of a Pro-Truth Movement - a movement which has already begun and is making a tangible impact.
"One of the most innovative solutions to the problems posed by the post-truth era I have encountered."
Stephen K. Hunt, Executive Director of the Illinois State University School of Communication
"It was refreshing in the 2018 elections to take the Pro-Truth Pledge, and to invite my opponent and others to join me."
Seth Berry, Maine State Representative, Past Majority Leader and Assistant Majority Leader
"/Pro Truth/ urges us to turn towards truth above our prejudices and biases. This book is sorely needed for what ails our post-truth society."
Felicia Winfree Cravens, founder of the Houston Tea Party Society, and founder of /Unfakery/
- Publisher : Changemakers Books (May 29, 2020)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 271 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1789043999
- ISBN-13 : 978-1789043990
- Item Weight : 11.8 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.62 x 0.78 x 8.55 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,772,063 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the authors
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Top reviews from the United States
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I provided no URL. I outlined a few points the book makes and then suggested how it could be used in a teaching situation, as the book is clearly a text book.
More to the point, this book calls for giving everyone a voice, no matter what political biases they hold.
Frankly, most of the reviews to be found on Amazon are worthless. No one cares that Person A received the book on time or that Person B received his book intact and undamaged. Frankly, fully 1/3rd of the reviews say such useless things.
That's part of the reason why I rely on Goodreads when I want a popular opinion and on NPR or the NY Review of Books when I want to know what experts think.
Even more importantly, it offers a path for us to engage with each other through courtesy and understanding. It walks through how to have productive conversations about politics, and presents a scenario illustrating how these concepts can be applied. If you're looking to learn how to work together with people to find shared values and get on the same page, this book is a good place to start.
Full disclosure: I was for a time on the Board of Directors for Intentional Insights, a non-profit co-founded by Dr. Gleb Tsipursky, one of the authors, and did some work to promote the Pro-Truth Pledge described in the book.
Top reviews from other countries
Gleb Tsipursky and Tim Ward's Pro Truth: A Practical Plan for Putting Truth Back Into Politics (2019) should be on the shelf or device of anyone who cares about the future of truth-seeking behaviour. Published by Changemakers Books, it's a clear and incisive book about weighty matters that is somehow so light and refreshing to read that you won't be able to put it down.
Above all, it's of great help to members of the community who wonder how they can impact politics and public conversations for the better. The book well and truly answers the key and urgent question that sits at its heart: when standards for truth-seeking behaviour are slipping daily in contemporary democracies, how do average citizens restore them?
Tsipursky and Ward offer a range of different forms of advice and active, positive solutions informed by both research and experience. Among them are managing our own cognitive errors, engaging in positive conversations, listening rather than lecturing, leaving our political comfort zones, collaborating with others and making simple commitments such as the Pro-Truth Pledge.
The authors point to ways that we can manage our own biases and mental errors. We're all in danger of believing these mistakes and fast judgements, most of all when we go with our gut. It's made clear in the book that a hard effort to adopt a better process for thinking has a better overall outcome: it allows us to make better decisions, engage with people in more truthful rather than deceptive ways, and filter out the mass of false information in the media and social media that preys on fast thinking and cognitive distortions.
One of the great achievements of the book is to show how an effort to improve our conversations, our thinking and our understanding of others can lead to these better and more truthful outcomes. While some in society try to convince us otherwise, critical thinking and positive engagement can take us further than negativity, judgement and manipulation.
The Pro-Truth Pledge is the showpiece of this book, an evidence-based tool that has been shown to work in politics in the United States to encourage truth-seeking behaviour. It takes only minutes to sign up to the Pro-Truth Pledge, and join the hundreds of institutions and individuals who have taken it. The reward of pledging is a renewed and publicly visible commitment to honouring, encouraging and sharing the truth. It's this book that convinced me to support and volunteer for the Pro-Truth Pledge in Australia, and I think you should follow me, read this book and sign up to the Pro-Truth Pledge: https://www.protruthpledge.org/
Running throughout the book is the reasonable concern that democracy will slip into an authoritarianism that flourishes on lies. While the example of Donald Trump's election of 2016 and Brexit are the key political stories in this book, if a reader who leans to the conservative side of politics is not convinced about these stories of misinformation in decision making and is more concerned about partisanship, they would need to read the book more closely to see there's no simple liberal bias here.
Republicans like John McCain come in for praise for their ethical awareness that the outcomes of the system are bigger than any one individual's capacity to get away with lies. There is one thing that is more "satisfying than 'winning'", as McCain puts it, and that's supporting a society that does better for everyone rather than satisfies the few.
The brilliance and society-building power of Pro-Truth: A Practical Plan for Putting Truth Back Into Politics is that no matter your politics if you commit to reading it from cover to cover you will likely come away believing that McCain's maxim is true.