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unSpun: Finding Facts in a World of Disinformation Paperback – Apr 24 2007

4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks; unknown edition (April 24 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400065666
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400065660
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 1.2 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 154 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #388,014 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

From Publishers Weekly

According to Jamieson and Jackson, both of the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg Public Policy Center, "spin is a polite word for deception," and deception is everywhere. As a remedy, they offer this media literacy crash course. The authors explore spin's warning signs ("If it's scary, be wary") and the tricks used to bring people around to a certain point of view ("The implied falsehood," "Frame it and claim it"), as well as the lessons to call on when confronted with conflicting or suspect stories ("Extraordinary claims need extraordinary evidence"). Although they tackle the checkered history of product pitches (from snake oil to Cold-Eeze), what stands out is their keen insight into Washington politics, where "deception is a bipartisan enterprise," as illustrated by Bush and Kerry in the 2004 presidential election (in which both fudged the facts of unemployment and taxation). September 11 and the run-up to Gulf War II give the authors their most convincing talking points, debunking myths and chronicling Washington's use of "fear, uncertainty, and doubt"-cited so often it gets the acronym "FUD"-to generate public support for the 2003 invasion. However, the rules to avoid these and other carefully enumerated tricks range from commonsensical ("You can't be completely certain") to labor intensive ("Check primary sources"), leaving one to wonder whether the spin doctors have already won out over energy- and time-deficient Americans.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

“Read this book and you will not go unarmed into the political wars ahead of us. Jackson and Jamieson equip us to be our own truth squad, and that just might be the salvation of democracy.” —Bill Moyers

“The definitive B.S. detector—an absolutely invaluable guidebook.”—Mark Shields, syndicated columnist and political analyst, NewsHour with Jim Lehrer

unSpun is an essential guide to cutting through the political fog. Just in time for the 2008 campaign, Brooks Jackson and Kathleen Hall Jamieson have written a citizen’s guide to avoiding the malarkey of partisan politics.”—Mara Liasson, NPR national political correspondent

“The Internet may be a wildly effective means of communication and an invaluable source of knowledge, but it has also become a new virtual haven for scammers–financial, political, even personal. Better than anything written before, unSpun shows us how to recognize these scams and protect ourselves from them.”—Craig Newmark, founder and customer service representative, Craigslist

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