I did something completely unplanned and unscheduled: I wrote an extra book. I’m still steadily working on my book on writing history as well as researching my next monograph on the policing of religious faith in early nineteenth-century Russia, but during times when I’m unable to concentrate on those tasks—such as traveling by car or baby’s nap time—I’ve written a short book about using basic critical thinking skills to navigate the information revolution.
It was inspired primarily by the recent Stanford study about the difficulty young people have distinguishing fake news from real. This reflects problems I see in my students every day, but in many other places, too. There is increasing awareness about fake news and viral guides to avoiding it, but I believe the problem is a much wider one, where many of us (not just young people!) have trouble navigating the constantly changing landscape of the information revolution we’re just beginning to recognize is moving the earth beneath our feet.
The book is about spotting fake news, but also problems in real news and weaknesses in articles presenting opinion and analysis. It’s about interacting with people online productively, and safely. It’s about not getting conned, and keeping our sanity. I believe that all these skills are interrelated, and that as important as it is to realize how much of what we see online is “fake,” it’s much more important to think critically about all the ways we process information.
I have published it via Amazon and Smashwords in order to make it available as quickly and widely as possible at the lowest price point. Please check it out, and if you like it, review it, rate it, and recommend it to your friends!
Amazon link (Kindle only for now; paperback available soon)
Smashwords link (ebooks in all formats)
It will also soon be distributed through iBooks and most other ebook vendors.
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