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Would They Lie to You? A Spotter's Guide to Fibs by Robert S. Hutton

Would They Lie to You? A Spotter's Guide to Fibs

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Sue Baker's view...

The answer to that title is proved overwhelmingly to be Yes, in Robert S Hutton’s entertaining if not rather worrying new book on how the men and women in suits manipulate, cheat, take your money and duff you up with statistics, false maths, empty gestures and empty words.

The diabolical arts of spin, the control and the lies are scabrous, insulting and self-serving – but then we knew that already – but armed with Would They Lie to You, it will be a bit easier to pick apart the lies, “impressive graphs”, evasive replies and u-turns. Man the barricades!

Like for Like Reading

The Theory and Practice of Gamesmanship: The Art of winning Games without Actually Cheating, Stephen Potter

Telling Lies: Clues to Deceit in the Marketplace, Politics and Marriage, Paul Ekman

Who is Sue Baker


Would They Lie to You? A Spotter's Guide to Fibs by Robert S. Hutton

How do you apologise when you're not sorry? Where can you make a fortune out of pretending to know the future? What's the best way to steal credit and avoid blame? These are the vital life skills that people need if they're going to make their way in the world. And they all involve one ingredient: flannel, the art of not saying what you mean. It's not exactly lying, but it's definitely not telling the truth. In Romps, Tots and Boffins, Robert Hutton brilliantly 'laid bare' the true meanings of the words we read in the papers. Following popular demand, he now turns his razor-sharp eye to the best, worst and most outlandish examples of waffle, fudging, obscurity, blame-shifting and point-scoring. In areas from politics to sports, academia, religion and self-help, it seems that glory, money and power flow far more freely to those who sidestep bald, ugly realities. You can steer a truck through the gap between a lie and the simple truth. This book tells you how to load the truck.


Brutally funny -- Marcus Berkmann, Daily Mail; The irresistible vade mecum of every prangmeister and cock-up artist. -- Boris Johnson, Mayor of London; 'a stocking-fillerish contribution for the political nerd in your life'--Helen Lewis, Guardian's best political books of the year; 'Confused? Of course you are. You're supposed to be. But help is at hand: Hutton's handbook cracks the everyday code of the euphemisms, evasions, avoidances and ambiguities that say less than they mean and mean the reverse of what they say
Iain Finlayson, The Times

; 'Superb. Rare to find so much wit and insight in just 146 pages
Andrew Sparrow, political blogger at The Guardian

; 'Darkly funny and expertly observed
Michael Deacon, parliamentary sketchwriter at The Telegraph

; 'Hutton's 'translations
from what people say to what they mean are ten

-chuckles-a-minute' --Matthew Parris, from the foreword

About the Author

Robert Hutton is the author of Romps, Tots and Boffins (E&T, 2013). He has been UK political correspondent for Bloomberg since 2004; previously, he worked at the Mirror and Financial Times. Having read Artificial Intelligence and Computer Science at Edinburgh University, he is believed to be the only member of the Parliamentary Press Gallery to have built a rugby-playing robot. He lives in south-east London with his wife and sons.

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Book Info

Publication date

4th September 2014


Robert S. Hutton

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Elliott & Thompson Limited


144 pages


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