Why We Lie, By Dorothy Rowe

You're never going to believe this...

Tony Blair's misinformation about WMDs and bankers' cavalier attitude towards debt are just two of the many topical examples of lying that Dorothy Rowe points to in this book, but her thesis works better when she sticks to more local, individual examples or explores the history of psychology in relation to lying.

She doesn't really explain the compulsion some people have to lie, beyond self-evident reasons such as avoiding hurt. She prefers instead to link figures as diverse as Simone de Beauvoir and Cecil Day-Lewis. Broad brushstrokes don't necessarily paint a convincing picture, and this sweep of political and cultural figures seemed superficial to me, and not best designed to display the depth of Rowe's knowledge.