From the Inside Flap
"In a global world made smaller only by social interaction andnetworking, no company or individual can afford to ignore theirreputation. People Will Talk merges the science and art of this increasingly complex and critical field. Properly applied, Whitfield provides a clear prescription for building trust, credibility, and integrity."Jeffrey M. StibelChairman and CEO, Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp. and author of Wired for Thought "In People Will Talk, John Whitfield pulls off a remarkablefeat of balancing nature and nurture, animal biology and humanbehavior to explore the universal goal of creatingand maintainingan admirable reputation. The result is a book both wonderfully readable and pragmatically useful, an artful illumination of the ways that we can manage both our public and private personas to best effect."Deborah Blumauthor of The Poisoner′s Handbook: Murder and theBirth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York praise for In the Beat of a Heart A Library Journal Best Sci–Tech Book of the Year "Vividly readable. Whitfield′s lively account focuses on thepower of a beguilingly simple idea about how the living worldmight work, and on the remarkable men who conceived it."Nature "Balanced yet provocative, witty but never flippant, clearwithout being simplistic, and far– but never over–reaching."Philip Ball author of Critical Mass and The Music Instinct
From the Back Cover
Why do people overshare online? Why does a fish bite anotherfish only if no one else is watching? Why do some people meet trivialinsults with extreme violence? Why do so many godshave multiple eyes? In People Will Talk, science writer John Whitfield shows how the idea of reputation helps answer all of these questions and more. Almost from the moment we are born, we are trying to work out whom we can trust and trying to make others think the best of us. We carry on doing so throughout life, even when we don′t realize it, every time we meet another person in business, friendship, or romance; every time we read celebrity gossip; and every time we tweak our Facebook profiles. Reputation has left its mark on our bodies, brains, and even, you might say, souls. Whether you′re buying a car or selling one, looking for a job or hiring, asking someone out on a date or deciding whether to accept the invitation, reputation matters. What is the secret to getting a good reputation? Unfortunately, there′s more to reputation than being a good person or being good at what you do. Your reputation belongs to other people, and it′s created by what they say about you behind your back. So you have a good reputation only if you have a strong social networka large and close–knit network of friends, family, and alliesto spread good news about you and shout down ugly rumors.?? Besides being a crucial component of individual success, whether a society flourishes or rots depends on how it uses reputation. Whether they′re in Machiavelli′s Italy, a California college sorority, New York′s drug culture, or the online world of The Sims, people′s concerns for their reputation can either push them toward altruism and cooperation or make them turn to deceit and brutality. If you′ve ever wondered why we care about the lives of celebrities, why young men publicize their drunken or dangerous antics on the Internet, how to make the "honor system" a little more widely honored, how to keep politicians honest, or what keeps gossip going, reputation will give you a clue. Read People Will Talk and discover how to polish your own reputation and understand what you hear about others and make the most of both.