Hardcover with Dust jacket. Stated First Edition 2001New, Never Read.
One bright morning in the third century B.C. the philosopher Diogenes set out with a lantern in search of an honest man. His doomed gesture makes the point clear: in some way or another, we are all liars. In "The Concise Book of Lying, "professor Sullivan tackles this most pervasive of sins, using history and mythology, anecdote and analysis to shed light--"pace" the first cynic--on our long relationship with deception.
The book opens with a cross-cultural survey of the important--and ambiguous--role lying plays in a wealth of early texts and stories, from the Bible to myths about those most inventive liars, tricksters. A Burton of deception, Sullivan asks what motivates people to lie; what mechanisms are involved in creating an effective lie; and what the costs are once we've decided to commit one. Society, dependent on truth telling, has responded with countermeasures, from the medieval "ordeal" to the dubious lie detector test, but the fact is that millennia of practice have made us experts at deceit. Touching on philosophy, literature, history, and psychology, "The Concise Book of Lying" is an erudite tour of the twilit realm of trickery.