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The Lie Detectives:
In Search of a Playbook for Winning Elections in the Disinformation Age

By Sasha Issenberg

A follow-up to the enduring 2012 book The Victory Lab
Sasha's last book The Engagement was a New York Times Book Review Notable Book of the Year.
Learn more & get your copy here.
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About "The Engagement"

A decade after The Victory Lab: The Secret Science of Winning Campaigns, which Politico called “Moneyball for politics,” journalist Sasha Issenberg returns to the cutting edge of political innovation to reveal how campaigners are navigating the era’s most pressing new challenge: how to deal with disinformation.


The Lie Detectives is a lively and deep secret history of Democratic politics in the Trump years, told through a cast of strategists and tacticians on the front lines. There’s Jiore Craig, a globetrotting young digital expert who invented the job of counter-disinformation operative for American campaigns despite never having worked on one, and Cheri Bustos, a congresswoman from a Trump-supporting district who struggled to convince her colleagues that not every lie targeting them online amounted to an electoral problem. There’s Silicon Valley investor Reid Hoffman, whose emergence as one of the American left’s biggest donors has forced his adviser Dmitri Mehlhorn into the role of moral compass for a movement still wrestling with whether it should counter fake news by producing its own, and David Goldstein and Jehmu Greene, who are confronting “the Big Lie” in the vernacular of online conspiracy theories, with gifs, memes, and ugly graphics of their own. The Lie Detectives presents a vivid snapshot of a political class trying to come to terms with an exploding social media landscape, and using every weapon in its arsenal to counter the biggest threat it has ever faced to its way of doing business and winning power.


Sasha Issenberg is a journalist and author of four previous books, most recently The Engagement: America’s Quarter-Century Struggle Over Same-Sex Marriage. He teaches in the UCLA Department of Political Science and is a correspondent for Monocle. His work has also appeared in New York, The New York Times Magazine and George, where he was a contributing editor. His first book for Columbia Global Reports, Outpatients: The Astonishing New World of Medical Tourism, was published in 2016. Read his magazine, newspaper, and other published work here.


photo by Carlos Chavarría

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Praise for The Engagement

“In this deeply engaging and comprehensively reported work, Sasha Issenberg traces the story of marriage equality from its beginnings as a nearly impossible dream to its current status as an essential right. This engrossing account of social change, political will and human rights arrives at a moment of great urgency. Issenberg’s narrative will inform the efforts of anyone who strives for a more equal country, and touch the heart of anyone who has seen their rights come up for debate."

Pete Buttigieg

author of Shortest Way Home: One Mayor’s Challenge and a Model for America’s Future


The Sushi Economy
Globalization and the Making of a Modern Delicacy

The Victory Lab

The Secret Science of
Winning Campaigns


The Astonishing New World
of Medical Tourism

The Engagement

America's Quarter-Century Struggle Over Same-Sex Marriage

My Books


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