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Information Wars: How We Lost the Global Battle Against Disinformation and What We Can Do about It
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Information Wars: How We Lost the Global Battle Against Disinformation and What We Can Do about It

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  53 ratings  ·  18 reviews
Disinformation is as old as humanity. When Satan told Eve nothing would happen if she bit the apple, that was disinformation. But the rise of social media has made disinformation even more pervasive and pernicious in our current era. In a disturbing turn of events, governments are increasingly using disinformation to create their own false narratives, and democracies are ...more
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published October 8th 2019 by Atlantic Monthly Press
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Diane S ☔
Sep 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.5 If you are one, like myself, who wonders why our government is slow to act, seemingly taking forever to get anything done, this is the book to read. Chronicling his time in the state department, he shows the many divisions, turf wars, constant meetings where little is accomplished, he shows how hard it is to put any new programs into place. He also shows how disinformation is put in place, ads targeted to specific audiences, who spread these false beliefs. He talks of the dark web and its ...more
Sep 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Gleb Olegovich Pavlovsky a Russian political scientist and a self-proclaimed “political technologist”) once famously exclaimed that to get people to vote the way you want, “you need to build a fairy tale that will be common to all of them.” Who better to assimilate this fact than Richard Stengel. Mr. Stengel, in his capacity as the longest serving Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs in American history (2013-16) spent his entire tenure directing all resources at his ...more
Cary Giese
Nov 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My five star rating of this book is based on the last chapter!

Before the last chapter the book chronicled the goings-on in government as the various interested parties grappled with counter messaging verses ISIS, the Russians, and others. They were struggling to get partners and develope a strategy for global response centers around the world. Bureaucratic ownership of the issue slowed the process but eventually a clear understanding of what to do and who is to do it evolved.

I was reminded that
Himanshu Modi
Richard Stengel, as a former editor of TIME, sure knows how to put out an headline to grab attention. The title was what drew me to the book in the first place. It was definitely more appealing than the alternative, more accurate title: Richard Stengel (Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy) - A Memoir.

No, I would not have picked a memoir of a government official. Unless he was going to go all-out and put out stories like Snowden or Assange, the book would be a bit of indulgent
Антон Санков
Dec 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
All in all a good read, and provides a good insight about how the Government works from the inside from the view point of an outsider.

What I did not liked about the book is that it is way too long, and the main topic is only established in the last few chapters.
Zohar -
Nov 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
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Information Wars: How We Lost the Global Battle Against Disinformation and What We Can Do About It by Richard Stengel is a non-fiction book about disinformation and how we fight it on the new front of social media. Mr. Stengel, former editor of Time magazine, was at the frontlines in this new type of warfare while serving in the Obama administration as an Under Secretary of State.

Information and disinformation wars are as
Dec 10, 2019 marked it as to-read
Library/ publisher's summary :

Physical Description: 357 pages ; 24 cm.
Contents: Welcome to State -- Getting There -- The Job -- Information War -- The Battle Is Engaged -- Disruption -- What to Do About Disinformation.
Abstract: "In February of 2013, Richard Stengel, the former editor-in-chief of Time, joined the Obama administration as Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs. Within days, two shocking events made world-wide headlines: ISIS executed American journalist
Dan Dundon
Nov 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
I almost didn't pick up Richard Stengel's book on the information (AKA disinformation) wars. Having read many of the news stories about Russia's attempts to influence the 2016 presidential election, I suspected this book was just going to be a rehash of earlier news stories.

However, I was wrong and actually learned a great deal more about Russia's efforts. Unfortunately more information makes Russia even more scary. For example, Stengel describes how Russia Today is a widely viewed television
Nov 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: trump
"There is not much irony in diplomacy"

Perhaps the best sngle line from this well written book. Stengels class as a journalist shines through this book. As a former managing editor at Time magazine and collaborator with Nelson Mandela on Long Walk to Freedom and other books Stengel brought some serious class and clout to his role as under secretay of something or other at the state dept, I don't remember the exact title and Stengel has some exasperated fun with the various acronyms and mysterious
Carsten Hansen
Former TIME editor and Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs discusses his times, challenges and experiences during his three-year stint in the State Department under John Kerry.
During his time he, the department and the Obama administration dealt with the challenges combating ISIS's information campaign, the Russian attacks, and disinformation on Twitter and Facebook, the rise of Trump and much more.
I found the book to be an interesting look behind the curtains, the problems
Oct 28, 2019 rated it it was ok
Point of view of Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs who was leading TIMES magazine before this post , although the topic is listed as Information wars, the book is more about his time at White house , it was a bit let down , but still the books talks about Russia , ISIS , middle east Iran , Iraq , Syria , media tweaking , white house politics , information leakage at White house,; etc..
Sep 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A well researched and well written book that helped me to understand the information world and what is going on behind the scene.
it's one of those books that are seminal for understanding what is going on in the contemporary world.
Highly recommended!
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.
Oct 09, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: junk
The hysterics of an ignorant: something that is as old as the concept of information, blown out of context to fit the agenda of the petty fear monger. Only things are much better now. Now "we" have the Internet and we can see Snowden talk, instead of relying on the "love thy leaders" crap published by the media frequented by Stengel.
Most excellent read on information warfare. Best advice on how do deal with government sponsored social media information warfare as actors try to take away agency from citizens.
Erika Kraus
Sep 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I won this book in the giveaway! Richard Stengel is very informative and I learned a lot of inside information that is not often publicized.
Oct 26, 2019 is currently reading it
Charlie Nagelschmidt
Best line: "propaganda is a misdemeanor, disinformation is a felony"
Robert A. Yaffee, Ph.D.
Richard Stengel nicely regales his readers with his experiences in the U.S. State Department's Public Diplomacy sector. The book is packed full of useful information about the cyberspace and the threats emerging within it, especially to those who have not been savvy to the use and emerging abuse of the world wide web. . At the end of the book, he suggests a repertoire of means of counteracting these lurking threats as they render cyberspace less welcoming.
He explains how ISIS and the Russians,
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Richard Stengel is the former editor of TIME. He collaborated with Nelson Mandela on his bestselling 1993 autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom, and later served as coproducer of the 1996 Oscar-nominated documentary Mandela. He is also the author of January Sun: One Day, Three Lives, a South African Town. Stengel is married to Mary Pfaff and they have two sons.