Speech manipulation has become commonplace in modern societies. Democracy, which has placed the speech at the centre of public life, seems to be threatened by the proliferation of techniques designed to compel us, without realizing it, to adopt this or that behaviour or opinion. Is not the widespread feeling of living in a "lying world" the source of new forms of individualism and withdrawal? Are all methods of communication and debate good in a public space that claims to be democratic? In this fascinating book, Philippe Breton attempts to answer these questions by describing the various techniques of manipulation that saturate our environment, using numerous examples from the fields of politics, advertising, psychotherapy and communication. While proposing an analysis of the weaknesses of modern societies, he also opens up a few avenues for restoring the role of the spoken word as a living tool of democracy. In particular, it introduces the original concept of freedom of reception, without which freedom of expression remains above all the freedom of the powerful. La Parole manipulée was crowned in 1998 by the prize for moral philosophy of the Academy of Moral and Political Sciences.