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After the Fact

Release Date: 2018
Publisher: Prometheus Books (hardcover and e-book), Penguin Random House (audiobook)
Distributor: Penguin Random House

About the Book

This trenchant analysis examines the many ways our society's increasingly tenuous commitment to facts laid the groundwork for Donald Trump's rise to power.

USA TODAY reporter Nathan Bomey argues that Trump did not usher the post-truth era into being. He was its inevitable outcome. Bomey points to recent trends that have created the perfect seedbed for spin, distortion, deception, and bald-faced lies: shifting news habits, the rise of social media, the spread of entrenched ideologies, and the failure of schools to teach basic critical-thinking skills

The evidence supporting the author's argument is all around us: On Facebook, we present images of our lives that ignore the truth and intentionally deceive our friends and family. We consume fake news stories online and carelessly circulate false rumors. In politics, we vote for leaders who leverage political narratives that favor ideology over science. And in our schools, we fail to teach students how to authenticate information.

After the Fact explores how the convergence of technology, politics, and media has ushered in the misinformation age, sidelining the truth and threatening our core principle of community.


  • The inside story on how Facebook flubbed its handling of fake news, including exclusive interviews with Facebook executives and insiders who witnessed it first-hand.
  • The disquieting scoop on how the decline of American journalism set the stage for falsehoods to prevail in politics and social media.
  • The truth about how both Republicans and Democrats are susceptible to favoring ideology over science.
  • A projection of a disturbing explosion of fake video and audio as the next wave of bogus online content.
  • An explanation of how K-12 and collegiate education failed to adapt to prepare students for a world in which authenticating facts is a skill they need to thrive.
  • An exploration of how Google's dominance has accelerated the spread of mistruth.
  • Suggested solutions for technology, journalism and politics to reorient back toward the truth.
  • Extensive original interviews with leading experts in psychology, sociology, political science, communication, social media, technology and journalism.

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