The Chapo Guide to Revolution: A Manifesto Against Logic, Facts, and Reason

Chapo Trap House. Touchstone, $25 (304p) ISBN 978-1-5011-8728-5
The hosts of the leftist comedy podcast Chapo Trap House bring their caustic brand of satire to the page. The book is largely a fast-paced comic retelling of American political history that opens with a “hasty and tossed-off” overview of modern geopolitics, studded with jokes (the “most popular professions” in contemporary France, the authors explain, are “racist cartoonist, cigarette tester, blackface makeup technician”) and explainer boxes (“Empires: Where Are They Now?”). From there, the authors dispense scathing critiques of “Well-Meaning Liberals” and “Knuckle-Dragging Conservatives”; the American news media; Western cultural artifacts (including The West Wing, obsessive fans of which receive an insightful critique); and the drudgery, anxiety, and alienation of work. Fans will recognize and newcomers be apprised of preferences for Thyssenkrupp elevators and against “prestige television.” The deadpan delivery—mixing puns, rampant sarcasm, inside jokes, references to professional wrestling, and sincere exhortations to pursue reform—is textbook Chapo. The Chapo crew can be polarizing, and the style here risks exhausting even loyal “Gray Wolves” (as fans are known, in an ironic nod to Turkish nationalists), but they succeed in advocating “a good-humored, thick-skinned, and maybe even optimistic struggle against the world outside” to readers disillusioned with mainstream politics. Illus. Agent: Daniel Greenberg, Levine Greenberg Rostan Literary. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 07/30/2018
Release date: 08/21/2018
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