From the Sunday Times top ten bestselling author of The Psychopath Test, a captivating and brilliant exploration of one of our world's most underappreciated forces: shame.
'It's about the terror, isn't it?' 'The terror of what?' I said. 'The terror of being found out.'
For the past three years, Jon Ronson has travelled the world meeting recipients of high-profile public shamings. The shamed are people like us - people who, say, made a joke on social media that came out badly, or made a mistake at work. Once their transgression is revealed, collective outrage circles with the force of a hurricane and the next thing they know they're being torn apart by an angry mob, jeered at, demonized, sometimes even fired from their job.
A great renaissance of public shaming is sweeping our land. Justice has been democratized. The silent majority are getting a voice. But what are we doing with our voice? We are mercilessly finding people's faults. We are defining the boundaries of normality by ruining the lives of those outside it. We are using shame as a form of social control.
Simultaneously powerful and hilarious in the way only Jon Ronson can be, So You've Been Publicly Shamed is a deeply honest book about modern life, full of eye-opening truths about the escalating war on human flaws - and the very scary part we all play in it.
Jon Ronson is an award-winning writer and documentary maker. He is the author of two bestsellers, Them: Adventures with Extremists and The Men Who Stare at Goats, and two collections, Out of the Ordinary: True Tales of Everyday Craziness and What I Do: More True Tales of Everyday Craziness. He lives in London.
Editors Select, March - I'm new to Jon Ronson's writing, having only heard portions of his insta-classic The Psychopath Test. His latest book, So You've Been Publicly Shamed, came highly recommended from a coworker, who sent over the manuscript. After being sucked in by the first few pages, I suddenly noticed I hadn't done any work in 45 minutes; clearly this was something special. In the book, Ronson highlights those who have been publicly shamed – a concept becoming more prevalent and more effective due to the rise in social media. I can't wait to listen to the whole thing in Ronson's own words, with his unique cadence and magnetic accent. Chris, Audible Editor
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Play the (Shame) Game
- Cynthia "Always moving. Always listening. Always learning. "After all this time?" "Always.""
You'll never look at public shaming the same way