The Great Derangement: A Terrifying True Story of War, Politics and Religion at the Twilight of the American Empire

Matt Taibbi, Author . Spiegel & Grau $24 (269p) ISBN 978-0-385-52034-8

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. (May 6)

Reviewed on: 03/17/2008
Release date: 04/01/2008
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 336 pages - 978-0-385-52062-1
Open Ebook - 218 pages - 978-0-385-52570-1
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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