The Great Derangement

  • by Matt Taibbi
  • Narrated by David Slavin
  • 5 hrs and 44 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi set out to describe the nature of George Bush's 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 off - or radicalized - by 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.

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What the Critics Say

"With his trademark mordant wit, Taibbi explores the 'black comedy' of the American polis. . .thoughtful Democrats, Republicans, and independents will find common ground in this book that punctures pretense, hypocrisy, and know-nothingness." (Publishers Weekly)
"It's a fascinating and hilarious study, fueled by Taibbi's own brand of paranoia, reflecting a cruel light on an America gone wild." (Los Angeles Times)
"Where other mainstream news sources fail, Matt Taibbi madly embraces his role as an honest political observer/writer/citizen in a democracy. I would also like to take this opportunity to ask for Matt's hand in marriage". (Janeane Garofalo)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A mixed blessing

This is a tough call for me. I think Matt Taibbi is one of the great social commentators of his generation. He is articulate, ironic, incisive, irreverent, and witty. He isn't the least bit shy about skewering pompous, bloviating blowhards regardless of their political persuasion. His insights into the machinations of the primaries and the presidential campaign in "Rolling Stone" and on "Real Time" (HBO) made our quadrennial descent into madness almost bearable for me. So, with that in mind, I looked forward to listening to "The Great Derangement". Unfortunately, it was an underwhelming experience. I haven't seen the book, so I don't know what Audible or Random House removed during the abridgement, but I'm guessing that a lot of excellent stuff ended up on the editorial cutting room floor. I know; caveat emptor when you buy an abridgement (which is why I generally avoid them). Just the same, I was very disappointed. I give it 5 stars for content and the narrator, 2 stars for the abridgement, and a 3 overall. In the end, listening to "The Great Derangement" was like eating half a Snickers bar. What I got was really good, but it would have been a lot more satisfying to have scarfed the whole thing. Here's hoping that his latest book, "Smells Like Dead Elephants", comes to Audible in an unabridged version.
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- Kathleen Erwin

Excellent!

I loved it. I am not sure how a previous reviewer who loves Taibbi can complain about what he THINKS he is missing. The book was great. Taibbi has a sharp wit and can exhibit a depth and range of speech that can hit you like a truck after some of his more colloquial language. I will listen to this book more than once, for sure.
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- Micah

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-29-2008
  • Publisher: Random House Audio