If there’s one thing we know about our current president, it’s that he lies. Donald Trump’s lies are so ubiquitous, so incessant, and so habitual that they have become inescapable — from his false claims about the size of his inauguration crowd to his whole cloth invention of a terrorist attack in Sweden to his assertion that Democrats are planning to give free cars to undocumented immigrants. But while he may lie more frequently and brazenly than any other American president, he is certainly not the first to mislead the public.With Lying in State, bestselling historian and commentator Eric Alterman asks how we ended up with such a pathologically dishonest commander in chief — and what consequences his serial mendacity might have for the future. To answer these questions, Alterman explores the long history of presidential lying, showing that from early on, the United States has persistently expanded its power and hegemony on the basis of presidential lies. Over time, these deceptions have had a cumulative and pernicious effect: each lie a president tells makes it easier and more acceptable for subsequent presidents to lie. Worse still, the media have largely abandoned their responsibility as referees of news and information, uncritically repeating presidential lies and failing to issue corrections even after lies are revealed. Donald Trump, then, represents not an aberration but the culmination of an age-old trend.Full of vivid historical examples and trenchant analysis, Lying in State is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand how we arrived in this age of alternative facts.