Perception Management

Consider the vast difference between PM and PR, urges David Baldacci in his current best-selling thriller, "The Whole Truth." In the Author's Note at the end of the book he writes that perception managers are not spin doctors because they don't spin facts. "They create facts and then sell them to the world as truth" (with emphasis on "create"). The story revolves around a weapons manufacturer/war profiteer who enlists the professional services of a perception management company. Various schemes are developed to engender antagonism between Russia and China, both of whom become customers of the weapons contractor. If you plan to read this novel, expect total immersion of your attention in the fascinating action. Beyond the high entertainment value, however, Baldacci has a point to make, and he spells it out very clearly in his Author's Note: "Many of the techniques [of perception management] outlined in the story are standard operating procedures for these folks.... And by using these methods a major untruth can be established so quickly and overwhelmingly across the world that no digging by anyone after the fact can make a dent in the public consciousness that it actually isn't true at all. And that's precisely what makes it so dangerous." This book does not waste your time.