u.s. politics | January 18, 2017

Letters from the Big Top: Matt Taibbi’s New Book, Insane Clown President

In Insane Clown President, author and Rolling Stone journalist Matt Taibbi delivers a scathing record of the 2016 presidential election, both a postmortem and vital look ahead as the new guard moves in. 

Previously, Taibbi turned his unforgiving eye on the American wealth gap in The Divide (2014), which The New York Times deemed “impossible to put down.” In Insane Clown President: Dispatches From the 2016 Circus, Taibbi accounts for Trump’s exploits, reveals how the pillars of democracy became compromised, and what part the media played in their collapse.  


Comprising timely reports from Taibbi’s travels following both the politicians and voters of the 2016 election, Insane Clown President illuminates not just what brought us to where we are now, but who we can be moving forward in the years to come.  


“The media and politicians had spent so much time with each other that they lost touch with regular people, and Trump capitalized on that. He made us in the media villains, representative of this out of touch, ivory tower political culture,” Taibbi recently told CBC News Wendy Mesley.


In an excerpt from the book, Taibbi remarks “...when you actually think about it, it's not funny. Given what's at stake, it's more like the opposite, like the first sign of the collapse of the United States as a global superpower. Twenty years from now, when we’re all living like prehistory hominids and hunting rats with sticks, we’ll probably look back at this moment as the beginning of the end.” 


Insane Clown President is available now. Here’s the description from the publisher, Spiegel & Grau:


From the thwarted Bernie Sanders insurgency to the aimless Hillary Clinton campaign, across the flailing media coverage and the trampled legacy of Obama, this is the story of ordinary voters forced to bear witness to the whole charade. At the centre of it all, “a bumbling train wreck of a candidate who belched and preened his way past a historically weak field” who, improbably, has taken control of the world’s most powerful nation.


In this groundbreaking battery of dispatches from the heartland of America, Matt Taibbi tells the full story of the Trump phenomenon, from its tragi-comic beginnings to the apocalyptic election. Full of sharp, on-the-ground reporting and gallows humour, his incisive analysis goes beyond the bizarre and disturbing election to tell a wider story of the apparent collapse of American democracy. Taibbi saw the essential themes right from the start: the power of spectacle over truth; the end of a shared reality on the left and right; 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.


This is essential and hilarious reading that explores how the new America understands itself, and about the future of the world just beyond the horizon. 


Interested in booking Matt Taibbi to speak at your next event? Contact The Lavin Agency, his exclusive speakers bureau.

Up Next

retail | January 11, 2017