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Publisher's Summary

From one of the world's leading experts in business storytelling, and for listeners of Daniel Levitin, Nate Silver, and Charles Duhigg, Truth: A User's Guide is about the different types of competing truths we face every day in life: how to identify them, why they work, when they are used and misused, and what we can do to guard against them or - when appropriate - to make constructive use of them.

We tend to see the world like Orwell's Winston Smith: "There was truth and there was untruth". Yet the world is far more complicated than that. In a time of "post-truth", when "fake news" is itself the subject of our headlines, it is not "untruths" that we need to worry about. 

Hector Macdonald reveals and examines one of our greatest collective blind spots: we are all routinely misled by the truth. This is because for any fact, scenario, story, and situation, there are what Hector terms "Competing Truths". Why do Competing Truths matter? They matter because we vote, shop, work, co-operate, and fight based on what we believe to be true, and what we believe depends in large part on what we read or hear from others. Many of the most sophisticated and influential forms of political, business, and media communication manipulate technically true statements to pull the wool over the public's eyes. 

Truth is not an absolute - it has its own spectrum. Truth: A User's Guide shows us how to cut through the nebulous issue of truth using a scaffold of timely examples. These examples range from the disingenuous use of statistics in Donald Trump's speeches to the 2013 fallacy that Western quinoa demand was disadvantaging native Andean farmers, to the structure, ethics, and success of Uber. Macdonald is as comfortable and insightful parsing the influence of Facebook as he is examining Colgate's misleading campaign as the toothpaste recommended by dentists.

Truth: A User's Guide explores how we can guard against the noise of competing truths, in business, in our personal relationships, and within ourselves, but also how we can use them to our advantage. Written with authority and humour, this is an accessible and illuminating narrative that will find a wide audience among listeners in search of understanding why the meaning of "truth" seems to have gone completely haywire.

©2018 Hector MacDonald (P)2018 Penguin Random House Canada

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