Nerdwax works
Book Review: Rim of the Pit

Book Review: A Firehose of Falsehood

This 2023 publication by Terry Kanefield and Pat Dorian is subtitled “The Story of Disinformation.” It’s a stunning sequential art book that, quite seriously, should be required reading for every American — especially those who vote.

gordon meyer holding book

The book traces the history of disinformation as a form of warfare all the way back to about 500 BCE and Darius the First of Persia. From there it describes The Arthashastra, an ancient Indian Sanskrit handbook describing disinfo and propaganda techniques that are remarkably familiar in today’s world.

And speaking of familiar, the discussions of Stalin, Hitler, and Mussolini will send chills down your spine. (Of particular note, “Drain the Swamp” is a slogan direct from the Italian fascist himself.)

The concepts of fascism and conspiracy get bandied about a lot today (with good reason) but if you’re not exactly sure about what they mean, this book will bring a great deal of clarity. (I also loved that it brought in the works of my sociologist homeboy Max Weber.)

The title of the book is a succinct and accurate description of the MAGA corps techniques. The authors define it as below, but this could also be an apt summary of CNN’s Kaitlan Collins’ 2023 “town hall” with Donald Trump:

“The firehouse of falsehood is a rapid and continuous stream of lies that overwhelms the listener. The liar exhibits a shameless willingness to tell contradictory and outrageous lies. It’s a way of undermining truth by making it impossible for anyone to focus on the facts.”

The book also lays out the facts and activities of the Russian “Internet Research Agency,” which flooded American social media with pro-Trump (and anti-Hillary) stories, memes, and lies to influence voters. (A fact well-established and covered in the book’s extensive notes and bibliography addenda.)

Reading this book can be quite disturbing, but it helpfully tries to soften the feeling of dismay by providing concrete suggestions and tactics for not only identifying disinformation, but countering it too.

The graphic format of the book makes it a quick and approachable read. I loved it, and I hope you’ll consider picking up a copy. I got mine from Quimby’s via their affiliation, but you can find on the Amazon too, naturally.

This is apparently the first publication from First Second Books / World Citizen Comics, and it’s so well produced that I look forward to more of what they have to offer.


Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)