Author Chat With Mark Kurlansky (Big Lies: From Socrates to Social Media), Plus Giveaway! ~ US Only!

Today we are very excited to share a special interview with author Mark Kurlansky (Big Lies: From Socrates to Social Media)!

Read on to learn more about him, his book, and a giveaway!




Meet the Author: Mark Kurlansky

Mark Kurlansky worked as a commercial fisherman, longshoreman, paralegal, cook, pastry chef, and playwright, then traveled the world as a journalist and foreign correspondent for The International Herald Tribune, The Chicago Tribune, The Miami Herald, and The Philadelphia Inquirer. Based in Paris and then Mexico, he reported on Europe, West Africa, Southeast Asia, Central America, Latin America, and the Caribbean from 1976 to 1991. His thirty-four books for adults and young readers include four New York Times bestsellers ( CodSalt1968; and T he Food of a Younger Land) and have been translated into thirty languages. He has received a James Beard Award for Food Writing, a Bon Appétit American Food and Entertaining Award for Food Writer of the Year, and the Glenfiddich Food and Drink Award for Food Book of the Year. A master storyteller, Kurlansky is equally adept at writing for children and adults. The New York Times called World Without Fish “a compelling narrative for young people.”

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About the Book: Big Lies: From Socrates to Social Media

Big lies are told by governments, politicians, and corporations to avoid responsibility, cast blame on the innocent, win elections, disguise intent, create chaos, and gain power and wealth. Big lies are as old as civilization. They corrupt public understanding and discourse, turn science upside down, and reinvent history. They prevent humanity from addressing critical challenges. They perpetuate injustices. They destabilize the world.

The modern age has provided ever-more-effective ways of spreading lies, but it has also given us the scientific method, which is the most effective tool for finding what is true. In the book’s final chapter, Kurlansky reveals ways to deconstruct an allegation. A scientific theory has to be testable, and so does an allegation.
BIG LIES soars across history: alighting on the “noble lies” of Socrates and Plato; Nero blaming Christians for the burning of Rome; the great injustices of the Middle Ages; the big lies of Stalin and Hitler and their terrible consequences; the reckless lies of contemporary demagogues, which are amplified through social media; lies against women and Jews are two examples in the long history of “othering” the vulnerable for personal gain; up to the equal-opportunity spotlight in America.

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~Author Chat~


YABC:  What gave you the inspiration to write this book?

We live in an age of lying. But this has also been said of other ages. And many of the lies are familiar. I thought some historical perspective was needed to help young people understand what they are facing.

YABC: What research did you find most helpful?

I am supposed to say the internet, and I did find some very useful things there, but I turned to books first and most. Books on science and on history. Understanding what Copernicus faced, how Galileo challenged it, how Einstein challenged Newton.  Scientists are the great seekers of truth.

YABC: Which fact did you find most interesting to learn?

Hard to choose. That the Nazis gave out radios. That the U.S. did not seek Japanese surrender after Hiroshima and before Nagasaki. That the original study on the risk of Covid vaccinations was a paid-for fraud. Or that the original Potemkin Village was a lie that never happened.

YABC:  How did you ensure that the book is engaging to your audience?

I try to tell good stories.

YABC: If you could only write one genre for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?

 I love writing short stories. They are such a pure form of storytelling and are small enough to be perfected.

YABC:   How do you keep your ‘voice’ true to the age category you are writing within?

I try not to have special voices for different ages. I talk to everyone, even small children, in the same way. I do strive, with younger readers, for greater clarity. But that clarity might be a good thing for adults too.

YABC: What is your favorite snack when writing?

 Espresso or fruit.

YABC: If you were able to time travel would you want to visit where your book is about?

For this book I need to travel through history. I would like to talk it over with Aristotle and I would like to talk to Galileo, Newton, and Einstein. And though unpleasant, I should talk to some liars like Goebbels, Stalin, and maybe the Tsar.

YABC:    What’s your least favorite word or expression and why?

I have a few. “Be that as it may.” Why is that necessary to say? “Needless to say.” If it is needless, why say it?  And I think Ezra Pound had a point when he renounced the use of the word “very.” It rarely adds much, or very much..

YABC:   What do you do when you procrastinate?

I talk to my dogs and cats.

YABC:   What’s up next for you?

I have a book coming out about onions. After that I have a book about nineteenth-century abolitionists who believed that nonviolence was the only way for emancipation to truly succeed. With violence, it would be a long fight to get Black people their rights. That was prophetic.

YABC: What is your favorite holiday or tradition and why?

 Aside from my daughter’s birthday, which marks the most magical moment in my life, it is Passover. It is an extraordinary holiday celebrating not only freedom but the obligation to speak out for it, and its message is shared through food metaphors.

YABC:   Is there anything that you would like to add?

I hope my book encourages people to question everything, even my book.




Title: Big Lies: From Socrates to Social Media

Author: Mark Kurlansky

Illustrator: Eric Zelz

Release Date: October 4, 2022 (Paperback to be released in August)

Publisher: Tilbury House Publishers

ISBN-10: 0884489124

ISBN-13: 9780884489122

Genre: Young Adult Nonfiction

Age Range: 13-18




~ Giveaway Details ~


Five (5) winners will receive a copy of Big Lies: From Socrates to Social Media (Mark Kurlansky) ~US Only!


*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*


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2 thoughts on “Author Chat With Mark Kurlansky (Big Lies: From Socrates to Social Media), Plus Giveaway! ~ US Only!”

  1. My daughter would love this!

  2. This is an eye-catching cover and sounds like such a great idea and important book for young people to read.

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