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The Great Derangement: A Terrifying True Story of War, Politics, and Religion at the Twilight of the American Empireby Matt Taibbi
Synopses & Reviews
A REVELATORY AND DARKLY COMIC ADVENTURE THROUGH A NATION ON THE VERGE OF A NERVOUS BREAKDOWNFROM THE HALLS OF CONGRESS TO THE BASES OF BAGHDAD TO THE APOCALYPTIC CHURCHES OF THE HEARTLAND
Rolling Stones Matt Taibbi set out to describe the nature of George Bushs America in the post-9/11 era and ended up vomiting demons in an evangelical church in Texas, riding the streets of Baghdad in an American convoy to nowhere, searching for phantom fighter jets in Congress, and falling into the rabbit hole of the 9/11 Truth Movement.
Matt discovered in his travels across the country that the resilient blue state/red state narrative of American politics had become irrelevant. A large and growing chunk of the American population was so turned offor radicalizedby electoral chicanery, a spineless news media, and the increasingly blatant lies from our leaders (“they hate us for our freedom”) that they abandoned the political mainstream altogether. They joined what he calls The Great Derangement.
Taibbi tells the story of this new American madness by inserting himself into four defining American subcultures: The Military, where he finds himself mired in the grotesque black comedy of the American occupation of Iraq; The System, where he follows the money-slicked path of legislation in Congress; The Resistance, where he doubles as chief public antagonist and undercover member of the passionately bonkers 9/11 Truth Movement; and The Church, where he infiltrates a politically influential apocalyptic mega-ministry in Texas and enters the lives of its desperate congregants. Together these four interwoven adventures paint a portrait of a nation dangerously out of touch with reality and desperately searching for answers in all the wrong places.
Funny, smart, and a little bit heartbreaking, The Great Derangement is an audaciously reported, sobering, and illuminating portrait of America at the end of the Bush era.
"With his trademark mordant wit, journalist Taibbi explores the 'black comedy' of the American polis, where a citizenry shunted out of the political process seeks solace in 'conspiratorial weirdness and Internet-fueled mysticism.' Trained from birth to be excellent consumers, Americans have become experts in 'mixing and matching news items to fit [their] own self-created identities,' according to the author, who embeds himself in these pockets of people as he travels to the Congress press gallery, Iraq, meetings of the 9/11 Truth Movement, and goes undercover at a Christian Retreat. He pillories born-again Christians and the 9/11 conspiracy theorists, concluding that despite their differences: 'Both groups were and are defined primarily by an unshakeable belief in the inhumanity of their enemies on the other side; the Christians seldom distinguished between Islamic terrorism and, say, Al Gore — style environmentalism, while the Truthers easily believed that reporters for the Washington Post, the president and the frontline operators of NORAD were equally capable of murdering masses of ordinary New York financial sector employees.' Thoughtful Democrats, Republicans and independents will find common ground in this book that punctures pretense, hypocrisy and know-nothingness." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Perfect for an election year, and bound to provoke controversy, this scathingly funny, audaciously reported, and genuinely illuminating narrative of what America has become at the end of the Bush Era is written by a major new voice in political journalism.
The Fox Mole”—whose dispatches for Gawker made headlines in Businessweek, The Hollywood Reporter, and even on The New York Times website—delivers a funny, opinionated memoir of his eight years at the unfair, unbalanced Fox News Channel working as an associate producer for Bill O'Reilly.
Imagine needing to hide your true beliefs just to keep a job you hated. Now imagine your job was producing the biggest show on the biggest cable news channel in America, and youll get a sense of what life was like for Joe Muto. As a self-professed bleeding-heart, godless liberal, Joes viewpoints clearly didnt mesh with his employer—especially his direct supervisor, Bill OReilly.
So he did what any ambitious, career-driven person would do. He destroyed his career, spectacularly. He became Gawkers so-called Fox Mole.
Joes posts on Gawker garnered more than 2.5 million hits in one week. He released footage and information that Fox News never wanted exposed, including some extremely unflattering footage of Mitt Romney. The dragnet closed around him quickly—he was fired within thirty-six hours—so his best material never made it online. Unfortunate for his career as the Fox Mole, but a treasure trove for book readers.
An Atheist in the FOXhole has everything that liberals and Fox haters could desire: details about how Foxs right-wing ideology is promoted throughout the channel; why specific angles and personalities are the only ones broadcasted; the bizarre stories Fox anchors actually believed (and passed on to the public); and tales of behind-the-scenes mayhem and mistakes, all part of reporting Foxs version of the news.
About the Author
MATT TAIBBI is a roving national reporter for Rolling Stone and a columnist for rollingstone.com. He's the author of Spanking the Donkey, a collection of his writings about the 2004 election. He lives in New York City.
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