Paidos has just published a new book by Jose Maria Martinez Selva entitled La Gran Mentira. En la mente de los fabuladores más famosos de la modernidad. A natural sequel to his previous work La Psicología de la Mentira, Martinez Selva wrote this new book due to the interest shown and questions posed by readers and journalists wanting to know more about systematic liars, those people with the capacity to do something that is beyond the majority of human beings: to tell monumental fibs.
The book delves into the psychology of those who tell stories, creators of chimeras and illusions, who act impelled by need, personal gain, vanity, or several reasons at the same time, so as to know their thought process, as well as that of the people taken in by them. The book includes anecdotes about famous liars and historic lies, from other eras and, most importantly, the not so distant past. The book also addresses some of the professional groups that are famous for lying, and others that in the last few years have provided incredible examples of fraud and deceit: scientists, reporters and sportsmen and women, for instance. It also provides explanations on why massive swindles or frauds take place, and helps readers to identify whoppers and protect themselves from them.
The author highlights two different profiles that are clear-cut in distinct settings: on the one hand, the swindler who cannot live without fleecing the unwary with imagination and creativity, and the odd touch of genius; and, on the other, the cunning, resourceful rogue, the delinquent without much imagination or compulsive offender, who is sometimes a person who pressure or ambition converts into a liar and dishonest person.
In short, it is an enjoyable read, combining interesting and fun anecdotes with psychological study and exhaustively researched case studies.