“Ruled By Fiction?” ‘Real’ Deception and Narrative Truth in Frank Rich’s The Greatest Story Ever Sold (2006)


  • Sebastian M. Herrmann




The Greatest Story Ever Sold: The Decline and Fall of Truth in Bush’s America“ is one representative of a series of highly popular, bestselling, creative non-fiction books that critique the Bush presidency. In his book, Frank Rich aims to unveil “the administration’s insidious efforts to blur the boundary between its“ reality and actual “reality“ (163, emphasis mine). This essay engages the book as a literary text and performs close readings to discuss the textual dynamics within Rich’s narrative project. More specifically, it will look at complexities and contradictions in the authentication strategies the text employs and at Rich’s attempts to tell a ‘true’ and credible narrative of the Bush administration’s deceit. 

Author Biography

Sebastian M. Herrmann

Sebastian M. Herrmann is a doctoral student and assistant lecturer at the University of Leipzig. Between 1999 and 2006, he studied American studies in Leipzig and did course work at Cornell University’s English Department (2003/04).  He is the founding head editor of aspeers“, a graduate-level peer-reviewed journal for European American studies. He is currently working on his PhD project investigating how post-50s fictional and semi-fictional popular accounts of the presidency dramatize and narrate tensions between “reality“ and “fiction“ and how they tap into what might best be described as a post-modern epistemic panic.


How to Cite

Herrmann, Sebastian M. “‘Ruled By Fiction?’ ‘Real’ Deception and Narrative Truth in Frank Rich’s The Greatest Story Ever Sold (2006)”. Current Objectives of Postgraduate American Studies, vol. 10, Mar. 2012, doi:10.5283/copas.117.




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