Available for pre-order
Coming August 22nd
A powerful, pocket-sized citizen’s guide on how to fight back against the disinformation campaigns that are imperiling American democracy, from the bestselling author of Post-Truth and How to Talk to a Science Denier.
The effort to destroy facts and make America ungovernable didn’t come out of nowhere. It is the culmination of seventy years of strategic denialism. In On Disinformation, Lee McIntyre shows how the war on facts began, and how ordinary citizens can fight back against the scourge of disinformation that is now threatening the very fabric of our society. Drawing on his twenty years of experience as a scholar of science denial, McIntyre explains how autocrats wield disinformation to manipulate a populace and deny obvious realities, why the best way to combat disinformation is to disrupt its spread, and most importantly, how we can win the war on truth.
McIntyre takes readers through the history of strategic denialism to show how we arrived at this precarious political moment and identifies the creators, amplifiers, and believers of disinformation. Along the way, he also demonstrates how today’s “reality denial” follows the same flawed blueprint of the “five steps of science denial” used by climate deniers and anti-vaxxers; shows how Trump has emulated disinformation tactics created by Russian and Soviet intelligence dating back to the 1920s; provides interviews with leading experts on information warfare, counterterrorism, and political extremism; and spells out the need for algorithmic transparency from Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. On Disinformation lays out ten everyday practical steps that we can take as ordinary citizens—from resisting polarization to pressuring our Congresspeople to regulate social media—as well as the important steps our government (if we elect the right leaders) must take.
Compact, easy-to-read (and then pass on to a friend), and never more urgent, On Disinformation does nothing less than empower us with the tools and knowledge needed to save our republic from autocracy before it is too late.
Praise for On Disinformation
“This brief but impactful book offers trenchant commentary on the current war on truth and workable solutions to protect democracy in an increasingly chaotic world. Thoughtful and illuminating.”
“In post-truth America, reality isn’t dying by accident or suicide; it’s being poisoned on purpose. Lee McIntyre—a philosopher of knowledge as well as a student of disinformation—names the culprits and exposes their methods. Even more important, he shows how to foil the crime. On Disinformation is the brisk, bracing primer that everyone should read on how to make America truthful again.”
—Jonathan Rauch, Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution, and author of The Constitution of Knowledge: A Defense of Truth
“McIntyre’s latest book connects the sordid history of science denial and climate denial to today’s election denial, exposing how interests exploit disinformation and work fissures in our society to weaken citizens’ trust in our democracy and in one another.”
—Sheldon Whitehouse, U.S. Senator, Rhode Island
“Lee McIntyre has emerged as our foremost scholar of science denial and an intellectual activist combatting the attempted assassination of truth. In the teeth of fake news, alternative facts, conspiracy theories, identity politics, postmodernism, and epistemological relativism, McIntyre’s On Disinformation expertly identifies who the enemies of truth are and how to counter their claims with reason, science, and compassion. A tour de force of scholarship and advocacy.”
—Michael Shermer, Publisher Skeptic magazine, Presidential Fellow Chapman University, author of Conspiracy, The Believing Brain, and Why People Believe Weird Things