Authenticity by Alice Sherwood

Authenticity by Alice Sherwood

As with all non-fiction books, there is a subtitle – ‘How economics, evolution and technology drive us to deceive – and how we can fight back.’

I was completely engaged by this book which uses a wide array of examples to examine the wider subject of what authenticity and being authentic actually means today. Starting with the fabulous story of Stanley Weyman, a quite remarkable conman, it also examines some of the natural world’s imposters, taking in a biological look at what authenticity means there.

Other chapters range in subject from counterfeiters to who originally created the tuxedo. Even authenticity in marketing is critiqued using the case of the soft drink Snapple.

There are personal stories in here too, and I don’t want to spoil them here.

Everything in this book is relevant and even if some of the stories and characters are familiar, I’m sure that others will be new to you. If you’re the sort of person who enjoys listening to Tim Harford podcasts, then this book will be absolutely up your street.

There’s even a section of what authenticity means when we live in virtual worlds – something that is already a real-world issue in social media and is only set to become bigger as we enter (perhaps) the metaverse.

I loved this book, and thoroughly recommend it.

Authenticity is out now in hardback. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC of this title.