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Crisis of Conscience

‘Powerful…His extensively reported tales of individual whistleblowers and their often cruel fates are compelling…They reveal what it can mean to live in an age of fraud.’ Washington Post

‘Tom Mueller’s authoritative and timely book reveals what drives a few brave souls to expose and denounce specific cases of corruption.’ George Soros

We are living in a time of mind-boggling corruption, but we are also, as it happens, living in a golden age of whistleblowing. Over the past two decades, the brave insiders who decide to expose wrongdoing have gained unprecedented legal and social stature, emerging as the government’s best weapon against corporate misconduct – and the citizenry’s best defense against government gone bad. They are also forcing us to consider fundamental questions about our democracy, especially the proper balance between free speech and state secrecy, and between
individual rights and corporate power.

Drawing on relentless original research, including in-depth interviews with more than 200 whistleblowers and the elite coterie of legal trailblazers who have armed them for battle – plus scores of politicians, intelligence analysts, government watchdogs, cognitive scientists, and other experts – Crisis of Conscience is a modern-day David-and-Goliath saga, told through a series of riveting cases drawn from Big Pharma, the military, and beyond. Whistleblowers are not only heroes who expose and anatomize corruption and ensure that it is punished usually at enormous cost to themselves – Mueller shows how they are also models we all must think and act more like if our democracy is to survive.

The Lies of the Land

Trust in our politicians is at an all-time low. We’re in a “post-truth” era, where feelings trump facts, and where brazen rhetoric beats honesty. But do politicians lie more than they used to? And do we even want them to tell the truth?

In a history full of wit and political acumen, Private Eye journalist Adam Macqueen dissects the gripping stories of the biggest political lies of the last half century, from the Profumo affair to Blair’s WMDs to Boris Johnson’s £350 million for the NHS. Covering lesser known whoppers, infamous lies from foreign shores (“I did not have sexual relations with that woman”), and some of the resolute untruths from Donald Trump’s explosive presidential campaign, this is the quintessential guide to dishonesty from our leaders – and the often pernicious relationship between parliament and the media.

But this book is also so much more. It explains how in the space of a lifetime we have gone from the implicit assumption that our rulers have our best interests at heart, to assuming the worst even when – in the majority of cases – politicians are actually doing their best.