An anthology on an unusual but fascinating subject - lying. Discussing a range of characters as diverse as Machiavelli, Hitler, Napoleon, Martin Luther and Upton Sinclair, Kerr illustrates how statistics have been manipulated and how atrocities have been unearthed.
In this anthology of "terminological inexactitudes", "economies with the truth" and whopping untruths, Philip Kerr has come up with examples of the art of lying from the era of the Bible and Plato through to slippery government spokesmen in modern Britain and America. Intriguing quotations reveal how non-existent islands were "discovered", how the Pope helped Lucretia Borgia regain her virginity, and how Richard III was given his hump. Casanova's and Napoleon's versions of their conquests and adventures should both be taken with a pinch of salt, whilst Nero, Baron Corvo, Rousseau and Richard Nixon all spread equally one-sided accounts of their actions. Throughout history, Kerr shows, atrocities have been invented, statistics rigged, enemies smeared and orgasms faked. Many of these lies make entertaining reading. Less comfortable are the accounts of Churchill's D-day deceptions, of journalists who covered up Stalin's Ukrainian famines, and of countries so consumed by public mendacity that the only truth is the graffiti on the toilet walls.
Philip Kerr was born in Edinburgh and read Law at university. He stayed on to read Law and Philosophy as a postgraduate, most of this German, which was when he first became interested in German twentieth century history. He worked first as a copywriter at a number of advertising agencies, including Saatchi & Saatchi, but spent most of his time researching an idea he'd had for a novel about a Berlin-based policeman. And following several trips to Germany - and a great deal of walking around mean streets of Berlin - his first novel, March Violets, was published in 1989 and introduced the world to the iconic tough-talking detective Bernie Gunther. Since then he has written and published ten universally lauded Bernie Gunther novels, and is currently working on his eleventh. He has won both the RBA International Prize for Crime Writing, and the CWA Ellis Peters Historic Crime Award.
The Penguin Book of Lies by Philip Kerr
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Penguin Books Ltd
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