A Firehose of Falsehood: The Story of Disinformation
A Firehose of Falsehood: The Story of Disinformation is another of First Second’s World Citizen Comics. In addition to tackling a must-know topic, particularly these days, it’s also gorgeously illustrated in a throwback style. It’s written by Teri Kanefield and illustrated by Pat Dorian.
It starts with a history of key developments in propaganda, from Joseph Stalin and the Soviet Union through rulers in Persia and India to Potemkin villages and the definition and rise of fascism with Benito Mussolini. (The source, I was surprised to learn, of the phrase “drain the swamp.”)
Of course, the career and influence of Adolf Hitler is covered, as are definitions of various propaganda techniques and methods.
The art is clearly influenced by mid-century works, which I found made the book a real pleasure to read. It’s colored in black, white, and orange, which gives it a retro yet urgent look, with gorgeous crayon marks. Here are a couple of sample pages.
A Firehose of Falsehood makes an excellent case for those not knowing history being doomed to repeat it. It’s a timely read, particularly with the coverage of Vladimir Putin and his invasion of Ukraine, as well as Russian bots and disinformation accounts on social media and their effects on the 2016 election.
Of course, Trump’s lies, conspiracy theories, and Russian connections figure prominently near the end of the book, as well as explaining why some people hate diversity and believe the big lies. The book ends with 14 pages of notes, citations, and bibliography. (The publisher provided a digital review copy.)