Charles Lewis

935 Lies

The Future of Truth and the Decline of America's Moral Integrity

Facts are—and must be—the coin of the realm in a democracy, for a government “of the people, by the people, and for the people” demands an informed citizenry. Unfortunately, for citizens in the United States and throughout the world, distinguishing between fact and fiction has always been a formidable challenge, often with life-and-death consequences. Those in power habitually seek to control the flow of information, corrupting its content and using lies, distortions, or simple suppression to cover their crimes.

Today that quest for truth is more difficult and confusing than ever. The cacophony of the internet, the flood of axe-grinding commentary on cable TV, and the growing legions of paid lobbyists and advocates eager to twist the truth all help to erode the sense of authority once granted to responsible journalists. History is sculpted by its absence.

Charles Lewis is a veteran of the battle for public integrity. 935 Lies explores the many ways truth is manipulated by governments and corporations. Through examples ranging from the countless lies administrations of both parties have used to justify needless wars to the successful decades-long corporate suppression of the truth about tobacco and other dangerous products, Lewis shows how the value of truth is diminished by delay. He explains the political, social, and business changes that have increasingly weakened the ability of journalists to play their traditional truth-telling role. And he describes the new trends, from the rise of nonprofit reporters to the growing numbers of “citizen journalists,” that give reason to be hopeful about the future of truth.

The Truth About 935 Lies

A video introduction by author Charles Lewis.

Lies For the Ages


From McCarthyism to the Watergate scandal and pronouncements about weapons of mass destruction, our history is riddled with consequential lies by the powers that be. This demise of truth is detailed Inside the Book.


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Upcoming Event September 23, 2014

American University

School of Communication, Faculty Forum, “935 Lies: The Future of Truth and the Decline of America’s Moral Integrity, Washington, D.C. 11 a.m.

Upcoming Event September 24, 2014

Temple University

School of Media & Communication, Speak to faculty and students

Upcoming Event October 4, 2014

11th Annual Public Anthropology Conference

11th Annual Public Anthropology Conference, “Uncovering Lies: What Anthropologists and Other Academics Can Learn from Investigative Journalism,” Washington, D.C.

Upcoming Event October 9, 2014

University of Wisconsin (Madison)

School of Journalism and Mass Communication (to deliver the 2014 Nafziger Lecture) and other events.

media coverage August 24, 2014

C-SPAN2 “Book TV”

“935 Lies: The Future of Truth and the Decline of America’s Moral Integrity”

media coverage August 5, 2014

C-SPAN "Washington Journal"

Book Discussion on 935 Lies. Host: Greta Wodele Brawner

review August 1, 2014

Book Review: ‘935 Lies’: How Governments, Businesses Lie to Us and the Failure of Journalism to Inform Us. By David M. Kinchen

review July 15, 2014

Wall Street Journal

Book Review: ‘935 Lies’ by Charles Lewis
At ABC News and CBS’s ’60 Minutes,’ producers would regularly kill stories critical of the powerful and connected.
 By Richard J. Tofel


About the Author

Charles Lewis, Author of 935 Lies

Charles Lewis is a tenured professor of journalism at the American University School of Communication, in Washington, D.C., and the founding executive editor of the School’s Investigative Reporting Workshop. A former producer for ABC News and 60 Minutes, in 1989 Lewis founded the Center for Public Integrity, which under his 15-year leadership grew its full-time staff to 40 and published roughly 300 investigative reports, in the process winning scores of national journalism awards.

Contact & Press Inquiries

Charles Lewis

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935 Lies

by Charles Lewis

The Future of Truth and the Decline of America's Moral Integrity