UK release: May 2017
US release: November 2017
2016 marked the dawn of the post-truth era. The year saw two shock election results, each of which has the potential to reshape the world: the UK's decision to leave the EU, and the elevation of Donald Trump to the office of US President.
The campaigns highlighted many of the same issues in their home countries: social division, anger at the elite, anti-immigration sentiment and more - but, more than anything, they heralded an unprecedented rise of bullsh*t.
Sophistry and spin have been part of politics since the dawn of time. But the modern era sees millions being fed false reports that Hillary Clinton ordered 30,000 guillotines to use on her opponents following her victory, while Trump claims he 'never said that' about speeches recorded on video, and the Leave campaign's divisive claims about £350 million extra funding for the NHS and 'swarms' of new EU immigrants from Turkey prove pivotal in a referendum.
Post-truth is bigger than fake news and bigger than social media. It's about the slow rise of a political, media and online infrastructure that has devalued truth.
Bullsh*t gets you noticed. Bullsh*t makes you rich. Bullsh*t can even pave your way to the Oval Office. This is the story of bullsh*t: what's being spread, who's spreading it, why it works - and what we can do to tackle it.
"A timely and important book by one of the smartest of the new generation of journalists and thinkers." --Alan Rusbridger, former editor-in-chief of The Guardian.
"This is a very important book, timely and desperately needed. In Post-Truth, James Ball gives us the technical definition of 'bullsh*t', and forensically examines how it s deployed to keep us twisting and turning away from the path to the truth. Most important, Ball shows us how to fight back, as citizens, against the assault of fake news reinforced by social media. In the era of Trump, bullsh*t is spreading like a pandemic. In Post-Truth, Ball has put on his Hazmat suit, waded into the most infected areas of the world, and found a way to stop the plague." --Alex Gibney, Academy Award-winning documentary maker
"Fake news, post-truth and propaganda are all symptoms of a news ecosystem and political culture that incentivises clickbait and confrontation. There has never been a time when it was easier to spread stories that were untrue, and never a more important time to be able to sort the facts from the bullsh*t. James Ball has produced a timely and thoroughly readable guide to how to navigate a sea of falsehoods through a storm of hyperbole, bias and propaganda." --Emily Bell, director of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University
With Valentina D'Efilippo
(Translated into French, German, Spanish, Chinese and Japanese)
The History of the World, but not as you know it.
A new type of history is here – all 13.8 billion years of it, exploded into a visually jaw-dropping feast of facts, trends and timelines that tell you everything you’d ever want to know about the history of the world.
From the primordial soup to the technological revolution of the 21st century, interesting stuff has been going on; and ever since prehistoric man scratched the first tally markings into a damp cave wall, we’ve been counting and measuring it all.
Which historic warriors conquered the most territory, killed the most people, or had the largest empire?
When did everything evolve?
Which languages are related to which?
What’s been invented and when?
Where are we being born, and what are we dying of?
Which countries are eating all the food, causing all the pollution and taking all the drugs?
A story of civilisation and barbarism, of war and peace, this is history done in a new way – a beautifully designed collection of the most insightful and revealing trends that tell us what the human race has been up to, and where we’re heading.
"The book is a delight" The Economist
"This new book, packed with beautifully and cleverly laid out infographics, provides a refreshing exploration of the history of the world." Creative Review
"A new book that continues to push the field of infographics forward." Visually
"Not only is this book a chock full of rich visuals, but the organization is an artform in itself. Small details […] make this a delightful read from cover to cover." Core 77
"This book does nothing less than chronicle nearly 14 billion years of Earth’s history […] all rendered in clever, topic-specific graphics." Fast Company
With Charlie Beckett
WikiLeaks is the most challenging journalistic phenomenon to have emerged in the digital era. It has provoked anger and enthusiasm in equal measure, from across the political and journalistic spectrum.WikiLeaks poses a series of questions to the status quo in politics, journalism and to the ways we understand political communication.
It has compromised the foreign policy operations of the most powerful state in the world, broken stories comparable to great historic scoops like the Pentagon Papers, and caused the mighty international news organizations to collaborate with this tiny editorial outfit. Yet it may also be on the verge of extinction.This is the first book to examine WikiLeaks fully and critically and its place in the contemporary news environment.
The authors combine inside knowledge with the latest media research and analysis to argue that the significance of Wikileaks is that it is part of the shift in the nature of news to a network system that is contestable and unstable. Welcome to Wiki World and a new age of uncertainty.
"A well–written and interesting account of WikiLeaks’ history"
Discourse and Communication
"An incisive overview of the Wikileaks saga and its implications."
"An excellent systematic documentation on the history of WikiLeaks and the controversial role of the founder."
"Would be an excellent text to assign in courses on journalism. It comes highly recommended, since it is full of insight, is easy to navigate and makes compelling arguments."
Central European Journal of International and Security Studies
"A cool–headed, astute analysis of the social, political and technological context in which the now infamous website was formed."
Engineering and Technology
"This excellent study is a fascinating insight into WikiLeaks and is the first bookt o examine this new phenomenon of the age."
"In this terrific book, Charlie Beckett with James Ball weave the disparate threads of Julian Assange and WikiLeaks – the future of journalism, of statecraft, of secrecy – into a readable and compelling narrative. Essential for anyone interested in the future of free speech or global politics."
Clay Shirky, New York University
"A fascinating insight into Wikileaks, and what its version of transparency means for the ethics, focus and newly emerging forms of journalism in our time. Beckett and Ball have produced a book that combines timeliness with significance in its examination of the implications of Wikileaks for journalism."
David A L Levy, University of Oxford
"Essential reading for anyone who wants to understand one of the biggest revolutions for journalism, whistleblowing and freedom of information."
Jo Glanville, Editor, Index on Censorship