People have long been duped by smooth-talking politicians, confessional talk-show hosts and fake-earnest advertisers. As sincerity has become suspect, the upright and honest have taken refuge in irony. Yet we long for the holy grail of sincerity. With deep historical perspective and a brilliant contemporary spin, R. Jay Magill Jr. argues that we can't shake sincerity's deep theological past, emotional resonance and the sense of conscience it has carved in the Western soul. Magill navigates history, religion, art and politics to create a portrait of an ideal that, despite its abuse, remains a strange magnetic north in our secular moral compass.