Cautionary Tales America’s Mata Hari? The Double Life of Esther Reed

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Cautionary Conversation: When a small-town detective gets a tip about a missing woman, he believes he’s uncovered a highly-trained chameleon: a foreign spy. Soon, Esther Reed is on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list, and a nationwide manhunt has commenced. But all is not as it seems.

Jake Halpern joins Tim Harford to talk about the latest season of his Pushkin podcast Deep Cover: Never Seen Again. They discuss the dangers of incrementally increasing lies; how and why certain stories are escalated up the media “food chain”; and what it takes to lead a double life.

The Host

Tim Harford

Tim Harford’s long-running column in the Financial Times, “The Undercover Economist,” reveals the economic ideas behind everyday experiences. His first book, The Undercover Economist, was published in 30 languages and sold…