Resumption of a seminar on the history of rumors since the Middle Ages, put into perspective given the current situation.
In a poisonously relentless media environment, firewalls are built everywhere to defend against the manipulations of rhetoric and reality, without the time for investigation and reflection. This book sweeps through the long history of France, from the Middle Ages to the 21st century, and offers contemporary points of comparison both within and beyond French borders. Moreover, it takes the time necessary to analyze specific political, economic and social contexts, and the various sources and forms of information that has been manipulated or created throughout history. Encouraging critical reasoning rather than muted astonishment, it proposes several different scales of observation and analysis, suggesting continuities in human history rather than alleged ruptures fabricated by media companies. At a time when legislators are attempting to restrain the omnipotence of the web and social networks, this book aims to offer a retrospective analysis without underestimating the real dangers of misinformation.