I was going to make a brief commentary about this book, starting with the title–any book that begins with “The Truth About….” gets my dander up. Especially if it is a political book. Why don’t these authors ever write it as “My Truth About…”? Do they think we will only read it or believe it if they present it as some sort of factual guide? Don’t they know that any open-minded person questions every assertion about politics, especially when it is presented as fact or inevitability? At any rate, before making a comment I decided to check out some book reviews, which I do as a matter of course when commenting on any book or magazine. And it is that search which became the subject of my interest.
Just for your own research, try entering a search for reviews of “The Truth About Trudeau” and see what comes up. I realize that Google shapes searches depending on what has been searched previously, but I am at work in a Library and so expect that the usual Canadian book review sources would arise in the results. Not so this time. In fact, quite a few review sources appeared in the results list that I had never heard of before. And the ones that have public reviews did appear, but with the oddest selection of reviews…
I began to wonder if the marketing team for this book had purposely set about not only planting positive reviews, but somehow rigging google searches so that negative reviews, or left wing review sites, didn’t appear.
One of the reviews was written by a former speech writer for Stephen Harper, some were right wing blogs, some were American sources. But the most disturbing were the reviews done on supposedly neutral sources of public information–Goodreads and Amazon. All of the Goodreads reviews that I found were fondly supportive of the book’s negative attacks on Trudeau, and one went so far as to use terms such as ‘demonic’, ‘heinous’, and ‘deadly’, while accusing Trudeau of promoting education systems that promote perversion; as well as ‘giving homosexuals “rights” no other Canadian has’. There are other extreme views on Amazon, labeling Trudeau a ‘communist’. Reminiscent of American politics anyone?
So the usual Canadian book review sites did not appear in my searches, but I found out about a lot of conservative blogs, and also ways for book authors to promote their own websites via creative placement of key works like ‘reviews’ in their url.
So, take a search for reviews and see what pops up. See if you can find the reviews which do not support the book. And wonder about whether or not it is a good thing for marketing teams to manipulate google searches so that you only have access to views that accommodate theirs. It’s an element of control I can do without.