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The 2016 presidential contest as told by Matt Taibbi, from its tragicomic beginnings to its apocalyptic conclusion, is in fact the story of Western civilization's very own train wreck. Years before the clown car of candidates was fully loaded, Taibbi grasped the essential themes of the story: the power of spectacle over substance or even truth; the absence of a shared reality; the nihilistic rebellion of the white working class; the death of the political establishment; and the emergence of a new explicit form of white nationalism that would destroy what was left of the Kingian dream of a successful pluralistic society.
Taibbi captures, with dead-on, real-time analysis, the failures of the right and the left, from the thwarted Bernie Sanders insurgency to the flawed and aimless Hillary Clinton campaign; the rise of the "dangerously bright" alt-right with its wall-loving identity politics and its rapturous view of the racial "holy war" to come; and the giant fail of a flailing, reactive political media that fed a ravenous news cycle not with reporting on political ideology but with undigested propaganda served straight from the campaign bubble. At the center of it all stands Donald J. Trump, leading a historic revolt against his own party, "bloviating and farting his way" through the campaign, "saying outrageous things, acting like Hitler one minute and Andrew Dice Clay the next." For Taibbi, the stunning rise of Trump marks the apotheosis of the new postfactual movement.
Taibbi frames the reporting with original essays that explore the seismic shift in how we perceive our national institutions, the democratic process, and the future of the country. Insane Clown President is not just a postmortem on the collapse and failure of American democracy. It offers the riveting, surreal, unique, and essential experience of seeing the future in hindsight.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Gretchen SLP on 01-26-17
What Just Happened, Explained
The reportage of Matt Taibbi, Generation X's Hunter S. Thompson, is unbeatable for style, dark humor, and substance. If you're like me and looking for any reasonable explanation for what just happened and why, and what it means for our beloved country, look no further than his aptly titled Insane Clown President (I'm so old I had to use Google to figure out the significance of the title, apart from the obvious.) The writing is flawless, and the content satisfying in its analysis (even though you may be left wishing for less coverage of the primaries and more on how/why Trump won the general election). I'm a different person than I was before I read this book, sadder, but wiser. The narrator is excellent, and his reading of the final sentence--the last seven words of the book--will break your heart.
52 of 63 people found this review helpful
By Rick on 01-20-17
Slow Motion Horror
Taibbi is the best long form journalist in America. his wit and keen understanding of our corrupted and disgusting political system is seen in this amazing collection of stories from the Trump campaign trail. God help us. Trump is President.
49 of 63 people found this review helpful