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Good Reads  Environmental & Social Studies  Economics, Politics & Policy  Economics, Business & Industry  Business & the Environment

The Playbook How to Deny Science, Sell Lies, and Make a Killing in the Corporate World

By: Jennifer Jacquet(Author)
240 pages
Publisher: Penguin Books
The Playbook
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  • The Playbook ISBN: 9780141982342 Paperback Jun 2023 Not in stock: Usually dispatched within 5 days
  • The Playbook ISBN: 9780241241677 Hardback Jul 2022 Out of Print #256968
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About this book Customer reviews Biography Related titles

About this book

Knowledge is power. Which is why the rich and powerful don't want you to have it.

The Playbook is an exposé of the extraordinary lengths that corporations will go to in order to spread disinformation and deny the scientific facts – around climate change, public health risks and worker safety – when they don't suit their agenda.

Written in the form of a corporate handbook for tobacco, oil and pharmaceutical company executives, it is a litany of obfuscation techniques, denial, delays and outright lies, including: how to recruit an academic 'expert' who is willing to compromise their integrity (or is just short of cash), how to massage the statistics, how to use legal and even physical intimidation against reporters and activists, and how, just as in a casino, to keep your customers comfortable, unquestioning, unthinking and playing along for as long as possible.

Part satire, part social history, part guide to resistance, The Playbook is a charge sheet against the powerful. It shows us how, by understanding the methods and motives of disinformation campaigns, we may be able to outwit them.

Customer Reviews


Jennifer Jacquet is an associate professor in the Department of Environmental Studies and director of XE: Experimental Humanities and Social Engagement at New York University, as well as the author of the acclaimed Is Shame Necessary?

By: Jennifer Jacquet(Author)
240 pages
Publisher: Penguin Books
Media reviews

"This brilliantly subversive and witty book lays bare the techniques of manipulation and disinformation that keep the rich and powerful rich and powerful. It's a handbook to show you all their tricks – with working examples. If you want to be a vile, greedy capitalist, this how-to book will be a great help. And if you want to identify vile greedy capitalists it will show you how to recognise them. It's a landmark book"
– Brian Eno

"A training manual and fake guidebook for companies [...] very funny, as satire should be, until you realise it's deadly serious"
– Adam Rutherford, BBC Radio 4 Start the Week

"Jacquet has found a brilliantly effective way of revealing just how extensive and systematic corporate strategies of doubt and denial are – by creating a Machiavellian secret guide for executives worried about what the latest science might mean for their business. Far more entertaining, but also far more disturbing than a more sober historical account or polemic would be"
The Observer

"If you feel exhausted from constantly taking the high road, The Playbook offers an enticing alternative [...] with Jacquet's dry humor suffusing each chapter, the book's tongue-in-cheek format is a chilling realization that the villains in The Playbook are extraordinarily banal. The tactics that enable their misconduct have been recycled across decades"
Scientific American

"This whip-smart and delightfully snarky expose gives readers the tools to recognize and refute corporate deception [...] Fashioned as a strategy manual, Jacquet's satirical advice explains [...] how to challenge the existence of a problem, the integrity of those who raise it, and the need for policies to address it"
Publishers Weekly

"A savage satirical stab at corporate malfeasance draws blood [...] Jacquet takes an original approach to indicting the ethical vacuum that besets much of big business [...] A sharp warning to corporations that deep pockets and armies of accomplices won't stall a reckoning forever"
Kirkus Reviews

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