Top 10 books about fake news

Mendacious propaganda has a long history, in fiction from George Orwell to Philip Roth and real-life reports by authors including Roald Dahl We all lie. But some of us are better at it than others. Then there are people who are so good at lying that they are paid to change the minds of millions, using techniques few of us will ever understand. It is often said that we live in an age of fake news, but this has been going on for years, and so have attempts to describe, analyse and anticipate its impact on our political lives. Books about fake news have an unsettling and dystopian undertone, and they force us to question the headlines. At the same …

Last Witnesses by Svetlana Alexievich review the astonishing achievement of the Nobel prize winner

From Chernobyl to the experience of children during the second world war … Alexievich has produced her own remarkable version of Soviet history In 1993, two years after Svetlana Alexievich published Boys in Zinc, her oral history of Russias war in Afghanistan, she was sued by a number of the people she had interviewed. They accused her of offending their honour and dignity and of portraying their soldier sons as soulless killer-robots, pillagers, drug addicts and racists. Though the case was in part thrown out, it said much about the fickleness of memory and the way that the rawness of grief conveyed to Alexievich during the interviews had quickly been overlaid by a more bearable narrative, in which the war …

El Norte review: an epic and timely history of Hispanic North America

Carrie Gibson has written an exhaustive corrective to historians who seek to whitewash a story of settlement and conflict The subtitle of Carrie Gibsons book is The Epic and Forgotten Story of Hispanic North America. El Norte lives up to it. These 437 pages are an important correction to centuries of American history which have mostly neglected the vital role of Spanish pioneers (and Native Americans) in favor of settlers from England, Ireland and Scotland. As the author quotes Walt Whitman, Americans long ago tacitly abandoned themselves to the notion that our United States have been fashioned from the British Islands which is a great mistake To that composite American identity of the future, Spanish character will supply some of …