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**WINNER OF THE GORDON BURN PRIZE 2020**
* A TIMES and GUARDIAN BOOK OF THE YEAR *
‘Quietly frightening.’ Guardian
‘Essential reading.’ Irish Times
‘Consistently chilling.’ Herald
‘Shocking and entertaining.’ Daily Telegraph
When information is a weapon, everyone is at war.
We live in a world of influence operations run amok, a world of dark ads, psy-ops, hacks, bots, soft facts, ISIS, Putin, trolls, Trump. We’ve lost not only our sense of peace and democracy – but our sense of what those words even mean.
As Peter Pomerantsev seeks to make sense of the disinformation age, he meets Twitter revolutionaries and pop-up populists, ‘behavioural change’ salesmen, Jihadi fan-boys, Identitarians, truth cops, and much more. Forty years after his dissident parents were pursued by the KGB, he finds the Kremlin re-emerging as a great propaganda power. His research takes him back to Russia – but the answers he finds there are surprising.
‘The world’s most powerful people are lying like never before, and no one understands the art of their lies like Peter Pomerantsev.’ Oliver Bullough
‘Through our current smog of smouldering bullshit, This is Not Propaganda shines a necessary, humane and dissident light.’ Nick Rankin
‘Far more than just another take on today’s chaotic information wars, this book argues that we will have to understand how propaganda seeks to shape our deepest thoughts before we can confront it.’ Anne Applebaum
'The world's most powerful people are lying like never before, and no one understands the art of their lies like Peter Pomerantsev. This is Not Propaganda takes us deep into how those lies work, where they come from, and what we need to do to fight them. If you care about democracy, fairness and reality, you need to read this book.
Pomerantsev's Nothing Is True and Everything is Possible was about the manipulation of reality in Russia. Now, like the radioactive fallout from Chernobyl, those arts of disinformation and emotional influence seem to have spread right around the planet. Reporting from Russia, China, Europe, America, the Balkans, Syria, the Philippines and Brexit Britain, Pomerantsev exposes the frightening world of coercion and control behind social media and political messaging. Through our current smog of smouldering bullshit, This is NOT Propaganda shines a necessary, humane and dissident light.
The truth was supposed to set us free. But Peter Pomerantsev’s brilliant This Is Not Propaganda shows how the very idea of truth has been weaponized by dictators and other enemies of liberty. These techniques, first used against us in Russia, have spread around the globe like a toxic cloud. Taking us from the Philippines to Ukraine to MAGA-land, Pomerantsev is an unparalleled tour guide of our post-truth world - and what we all must learn to survive in it.
In this moving, unusual, and carefully reported book, Peter Pomerantsev reminds us that propaganda is not just a political tool: It can also shape individuals, their relationships with their children, their friendships, their marriages. Far more than just another take on today's chaotic information wars, this book argues that we will have to understand how propaganda seeks to shape our deepest thoughts before we can confront it.
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