Staff Favorite: Jon Ronson

So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed
by Jon Ronson
HM661 .R66 2015

Are you looking for a good Non-fiction book to get you through the Summer? If so, you should try out Jon Ronson’s new book, So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed. If you are unfamiliar with Ronson, he is a gonzo journalist (a term coined by Hunter S. Thompson) who has worked at The Guardian as well as NPR for many years, but also is involved with radio, television and the movies. For more information or to see some of his work check out his website.

His  newest book looks at the “collective outrage” that has come about in the age of Social Media and what the effect of “shaming” is on the sham-er, the sham-ee and the culture that it is apart of. Throughout the course of the book, Ronson interviews 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 the 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.

If this looks interesting to you then you may want to also try some other Jon Ronson books we have in our collection. I’m a personal fan of The Men Who Stare At Goats.

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