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.
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?