Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “True Enough: Learning to Live in a Post-Fact Society” as Want to Read:
True Enough: Learning to Live in a Post-Fact Society
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

True Enough: Learning to Live in a Post-Fact Society

3.71  ·  Rating Details  ·  501 Ratings  ·  117 Reviews
Why has punditry lately overtaken news? Why do lies seem to linger so long in the cultural subconscious even after they’ve been thoroughly discredited? And why, when more people than ever before are documenting the truth with laptops and digital cameras, does fact-free spin and propaganda seem to work so well? True Enough explores leading controversies of national politics ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published March 1st 2008 by Wiley (first published January 1st 2008)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about True Enough, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about True Enough

All the President's Men by Carl BernsteinThe Sorrows of Young Mike by John ZelaznyThe Glass Castle by Jeannette WallsBlack Like Me by John Howard GriffinThe Perfect Storm by Sebastian Junger
Books by Journalists
340th out of 375 books — 68 voters
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper LeeThe Two Towers by J.R.R. TolkienTreasure Island by Robert Louis StevensonThe Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey NiffeneggerThe Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare
Good Books That Start with the Letter 'T'
321st out of 402 books — 65 voters


More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,188)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Matt
Nov 10, 2008 Matt rated it really liked it
This was my election 2008 attempt-to-escape-the-news read. And it served its purpose well. It covers an awful lot of ground, but its main point is this. People tend to interpret and understand new information in a way that accords with their existing views. Just as fans of opposing teams "see" different football games (and blame referees accordingly), consumers "see" different news reports. And although we look for truth (to a point), we are seeking information that jibes with our beliefs and af ...more
Nicholas Karpuk
Feb 17, 2009 Nicholas Karpuk rated it liked it
Not living up to the title irks me, even if the book remains thought-provoking and readable.

When you entitle a book with something like, "Learning to Live in a Post-Fact Society", there's an implication that you might drop a few bits of wisdom on what the hell you should actually do about the current state of affairs.

Farhad Manjoo sets up his arguments quite well, asserting that the changes in media and the way humans think has led to a fractured culture where people don't merely disagree but de
...more
Philip
May 31, 2008 Philip rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction


There's really nothing new in Manjoo's book. Yes, I realize that I'm always being sold something. Yes, I realize that I have a pre-existing mindset. I know that there are right wing lobbyists that are always up to their nefarious ends...

The book wasn’t bad though. It just reiterated what I already knew. It relied heavily on some sociology experiments that were rather fun to read about, and heaven knows I would never pick up “Journal of Personality and Social Psychology,” or “Journal of Medical
...more
AdiTurbo
Mar 30, 2016 AdiTurbo rated it it was amazing
Enlightening look at how we consume and process information, and what influences our choice of media outlets and content. Manjoo explains very clearly our biases, and how modern technology and historical changes affected the ways we now decide what is true. Very well-written, easy to understand, full of fascinating anecdotes and examples.
Will
Jan 04, 2016 Will rated it it was amazing
When you are watching your favorite sports team, you may be seeing a completely different game than the spectators on the other side of the field. Through selective perception, people perceive reality based upon their personal biases; thus, an individual creates his or her own reality. Farhad Manjoo's True Enough provides insight into the dangers of a fragmented society. Manjoo discusses the 1951 football game between Princeton and Dartmouth. Fans on both sides walked away from the game with div ...more
Eric
May 05, 2010 Eric rated it really liked it
If you like Malcolm Gladwell-esque social science books about how other people think and why they act the way they do, this is the book for you. If you've ever wondered how people can be so blind to the facts, or draw such stupid conclusions, or watch Fox News, "True Enough: Learning to Live in a Post-Fact Society" explains it all.

Manjoo, who now writes for Slate (but who wrote for Salon when the book was published) uses real-life case-studies to illustrate and illuminate how bias in the media,
...more
BLACK CAT
Jul 24, 2014 BLACK CAT rated it liked it
Shelves: culture
Know who is sponsoring the information and where it is coming from.
Be aware of cognitive behavioral biases.
Try to be objective.
Read from source you don't normally read to enrich your point of view.
Open your mind a be ready to embrace different information and create an informed opinion.
Margaret
Oct 22, 2009 Margaret rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, media
I didn't like this book much, even though I entirely agree with the author's premise. I'm interested in the media and societal theories Manjoo discusses, but the writing was a bit dull and didn't hold my interest. I didn't learn anything from it that I didn't already know, probably because I'm already quite familiar with this subject.
Lynn
Jan 25, 2016 Lynn rated it really liked it
I would give this three stars for my own experience of reading it, but because I think the message is so important, and because I think there are a lot of people still blind to this, I tacked on a star for content. The author points out how 'reality' has been hijacked in all kinds of directions and a good deal of what we see and hear (on television, radio, internet) is deceptive - regardless of which side of an issue we agree with. He writes of the "amateurization of expertise", in which people ...more
Tim Chang
Dec 17, 2012 Tim Chang rated it really liked it
this book spotlights some terrifying implications around the fragmentation and silo-ing of media...and the effects can already be clearly seen in the flavoring of news programs, blogs, etc. :(

Key points for me:
- selective exposure: psych coping mechanism to reinforce listening to what one wants to hear and already believes. E.g. Smoking/cancer test in 60s, Alive & Well AIDS,
- media fragmentation: people can live in their own parallel versions of realities not based on fact/science (John Ker
...more
Roger Leonhardt
Mar 01, 2013 Roger Leonhardt rated it liked it
Do we twist the things we read and watch to match our own beliefs? Do we dismiss those things that do not fit in our worldview? This book says "yes".

This Book was OK, but claiming to be non-partisan, he still has a bias. Those on the right are considered unintelligent (Rush Limbaugh) but the left just bend the truth (Truthers). He claims, according to research, Republicans are more likely to be bias in their information than Democrats.

He believes that those who disagree with Global warming are
...more
Chris
Jul 25, 2011 Chris rated it really liked it
"Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac?" --George Carlin

"This isn't about what is . . . it's about what people think is. It's all imaginary anyway. That's why it's important. People only fight over imaginary things." --Neil Gaiman, American Gods

"If they think it's the truth, then they believe it, and if they believe it long enough, then it becomes the truth." --Jason Carter Eaton, The Facttracker

"Each of us thinks tha
...more
Wil Wheaton
Jun 05, 2009 Wil Wheaton rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: media critics, news junkies, people who liked the Fark book,
Shelves: political
True Enough is a quick and accessible read that never drags or becomes uninteresting. It's all very well-researched and very interesting, but I just wish that, having explained how and why we've come to live in a post-fact society, Farhad Manjoo had spent at least a few pages talking about how we can dig ourselves out of a world where Truthiness has taken over.

I thought this was a great companion to Drew Curtis' It's Not News It's Fark: How Mass Media Tries to Pass Off Crap As News (disclosure:
...more
Mark Valentine
Mar 13, 2016 Mark Valentine rated it really liked it
Prescient, insightful, graceful writing, and valuable. Manjoo has provided a handbook for critical thinking in the next decade and beyond. I found it even and balanced.

His chapters concern how "reality" is splitting in two, the New Tribalism in digital communications and social systems, trusting your perceptions about 9/11 conspiracies, the Bush/Kerry election of 2004...but I found the best usefulness for me in the final, full chapter, "Truthiness" everywhere. In that chapter, Manjoo exposes th
...more
Joseph
Jun 19, 2015 Joseph rated it did not like it
This could have been a good book, but Manjoo is the type of modern day political sycophant who doesn't understand that his base opinions are rooted in a far-left ideology. The theoretical points in the book are "true enough," but the overall impact of the book is lessened by Manjoo only attacking the right and making the left seem as though they are guilt-free in creating the depraved media culture that we're saddled with today.
Erin Brownback
Dec 24, 2015 Erin Brownback rated it it was ok
This book was very average throughout. Then I got to the end and thought the epilogue might be stronger, and it ended up being even weaker than the rest and pulling it down to below average. There were some interesting pieces of information about events and social campaigns. But the main point was weak and not compelling. Also, I found that the author often utilized the agenda-driven techniques that he was condemning in others. For instance, he talked about big tobacco and the anti-smoking campa ...more
Sean
Attempts to answer the important question: "How can so many people who live in the same place see the world so differently?"

Belongs on the shelf with The Republican Brain and The Filter Bubble.

Manjoo's argument identifies four factors that have contributed to the proliferation of competing realities:

1) Selective Exposure - consuming information that confirms your presuppositions and avoiding information that complicates them

2) Selective Perception - interpreting documentary proof according y
...more
Richard
Oct 16, 2015 Richard marked it as to-read-3rd
Recommended to Richard by: NY Times article "Texts Without Context"
Shelves: nonfiction
This book is mentioned in the thoughtful-if-long New York Times Magazine article "Texts Without Context", which explores how technology is altering the way we absorb ideas, especially the written word, and how that change in subjectivity is setting us up for subtle but radical shifts in everything from political discourse to the rights of authors.

With respect to this book itself, the article includes the following paragraph:
As Mr. Manjoo observes in “True Enough: Learning to Live in a Post-Fact
...more
Joe Robles
Sep 22, 2012 Joe Robles rated it it was amazing
This is a truly fascinating book that I just happened to finish reading at the same time as I was catching up on my Freakanomics podcasts. The podcast on Media Bias, offered even more support for Manjoo's argument on the subjective ways in which people on both sides of the political spectrum construct their reality.

My favorite part, which I think should be required reading during elections, is about the Weak/Strong Consonant/Dissonant arguments and how we are prone to react to them. In a study t
...more
Tobias
Jun 17, 2013 Tobias rated it really liked it
Manjoo's point is simple. In a world where people can get their news on any issue on the internet, they can select from a wide variety of sources. This impacts what we know, because these sources emphasize different perspectives, and do so differently, and sometimes dishonestly. These sources contain biases, usually political ones, or because they vary in terms of quality, and most importantly, in terms of their target readership. They seek a particular audience, and this audience in return seek ...more
Nigel
Jul 05, 2009 Nigel rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2009-book-a-week
I really like what Manjoo has to say about technology and geeky techy stuff in the column he writes for Slate. I sort of thought his book might build off that, and talk about how technology and the Internet impact the way we perceive what is "true" and what we believe. That wound up being a very, very small part of this book. I'm not even sure what the majority of the book was about. It was just a disjointed ramble about cable news hacks (Lou Dobbs gets an entire chapter), Steven Colbert's "trut ...more
Todd Martin
Jan 25, 2009 Todd Martin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: culture-politics
Let me start off by saying that True Enough: Learning to Live in a Post-Fact Society is the best book I've read in a long time.

In it, Manjoo sets out to make three main points:
1) People consume news in such a way as to confirm their own preconceived biases and notions of the way in which the world works.
2) With the splintering of media (tv > cable, newspapers > web, etc) it has become easier than ever before for individuals to only expose themselves to information which supports their wor
...more
Ralph
Sep 15, 2009 Ralph rated it really liked it
A lot of what I read now has to do with sociology and psychology, as it is at least peripherally useful when it comes to my job which involves influencing people. This book offers some ideas that I haven't heard of before, concepts of weak and strong dissonance, and the idea that different political leanings result in different reactions to weak dissonance and strong dissonance. I highly recommend this book to anyone who takes for granted that people can be convinced by reason alone--and especia ...more
David
Mar 11, 2010 David rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Josh Meyer
Feb 28, 2013 Josh Meyer rated it really liked it
True Enough: Learning to Live in a Post-Fact Society by Farhad Manjoo is a well-crafted book that presents through the use of many examples how the quest for information is incredibly clouded by several outside and often conflicting influences. This book delves into the not so obvious ways in which politics, corporations, powerful publishers with agendas have affected both the content of information that is presented by news sources as well as the “slant” that the information is given, even when ...more
Elizabeth
Sep 12, 2009 Elizabeth rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dina
Feb 22, 2009 Dina rated it really liked it
This book was really terrific, as might be evidenced by the fact that I flew through it in three days. But don't let that fool you - it wasn't all fluff and non-sense. There are some really great ideas in here and though the information is mildly complex and riddled with sociological terms, it never feels intimidating or unreadable; in fact, I'd say it reads like the perfect text book on modern mainstream media. A lot of ground is covered - how the left and right differ in their thinking, why th ...more
Daver
Jun 25, 2008 Daver rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This was a really good book that made me think quite a bit. Specifically, the changes in the way the news has been presented over the years were interesting. The concept of "naive realism" was especially intriguing.

I have a favorite paragraph, want to hear it? Here it goes:

"For people who feel strongly about an issue - for Apples fanatics, for abortion partisans, for folks who think they know the truth about global warming or what's going on in the Middle East - reality feels distinct and lumino
...more
heather
Jun 01, 2009 heather rated it liked it
2009 Writer as Witness Book.

Another reviewer mentions how the book did not live up to the title, and I share that frustration. Manjoo bids us to "choose wisely" when we evaluate the information with which we are bombarded...but offers little on how to break free of our biases. I think most of us know which camps we fall into (for example, I watch the Daily Show and listen to NPR--guess which way I vote?!) and do choose the information that supports our views. And we understand this, and accept i
...more
Lisa
This book was interesting, and has totally made me question the news that I see on TV and read online, but I kind of had doubts about the news before, so it's not like I learned anything earth-shattering. Fox News panders to Republicans, NPR to the Democrats, that's not really news to anyone. This book just made me more aware of the fact that it's never a good idea to just blindly believe something you read online or heard on the news, because even seemingly reputable news sources can't always b ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 39 40 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Women and Gender in Early Modern Europe
  • The Norton Anthology of Modern & Contemporary Poetry, Vol 1: Modern Poetry
  • Mysteries of the World: Unexplained Wonders and Mysterious Phenomena
  • Stolen Sisters: An Inquiry into Feminicide in Canada
  • A Culture of Conspiracy: Apocalyptic Visions in Contemporary America
  • Homo Politicus: The Strange and Barbaric Tribes of the Beltway
  • Soul of the Samurai: Modern Translations of Three Classic Works of Zen & Bushido
  • Moral Panics and the Copyright Wars
  • Searching for Memory: The Brain, the Mind, and the Past
  • Fear of Falling: The Inner Life of the Middle Class
  • Gangs of America: The Rise of Corporate Power and the Disabling of Democracy
  • Denialism: How Irrational Thinking Hinders Scientific Progress, Harms the Planet, and Threatens Our Lives
  • Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings: An American Controversy
  • The Coming Generational Storm: What You Need to Know about America's Economic Future
  • Just How Stupid Are We?: Facing the Truth About the American Voter
  • It's Not News, It's Fark: How Mass Media Tries to Pass Off Crap As News
  • The Public Domain: Enclosing the Commons of the Mind
  • The Language Police:  How Pressure Groups Restrict What Students Learn

Share This Book