The title, and especially the subtitle, of this book by political scientist Kaussler (James Madison Univ.) and two communications professors, Kristiansen (also James Madison Univ.) and Delbert (Lenoir-Rhyne Univ.), pretty much says it all. Building on Harry G. Frankfurt's best-selling treatise On Bullshit (2005), these authors identify the genre in question with "inflated" and "hyperbolic" rhetoric, "akin to 'humbug' and lacking in substance." They further link it to a president whom they describe as overconfident, uninformed, and uninterested in truth. They illustrate with specific chapters involving Trump's response to racist actions in Charlottesville, Virginia; his attempts to polarize rather than unify the electorate; his populist attacks on the media; his contradictory defenses during his impeachment hearings; and his erratic foreign policies. This book provides an insightful, sobering account of the corrosive effects of a completely transactional view of truth that, as Mettler and Lieberman have documented in Four Threats (2020), is steadily undermining democracy in the US. . . The authors conclude that if we remain "without better crap detection," other politicians will adopt similar rhetorical forms. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty and professionals. General readers.
3/30/21 - CHOICE named this title as part of the Top 75 Community College Titles for March 2021. Link: https://www.choice360.org/choice-pick/the-top-75-community-college-titles-march-edition/