'But Hillary is a known Luciferian,' he tried.
'She's not a known Luciferian,' I said.
'Well, yes and no,' he said.
In The Elephant in the Room, Jon Ronson, the New York Times best-selling author of The Psychopath Test, Them and So You've Been Publicly Shamed, travels to Cleveland at the height of summer to witness the Republican National Convention. Along the way he reunites with an old acquaintance - the influential provocateur and conspiracy talk-show host Alex Jones - who draws him, unexpectedly, into one of the most bizarre presidential campaigns in American history.
From the private Winnebago where conspiracy theorists and fearmongers discuss key campaign decisions to a chance encounter with notorious political operative Roger Stone, Ronson's picaresque journey into Donald Trump's atmosphere introduces us to the people who orbit the campaign machine and discovers what makes them tick - and what ticks them off.
Whimsical, hilarious and often downright terrifying, The Elephant in the Room captures a defining moment in our time as only Jon Ronson could see it.
©2016 Jon Ronson (P)2016 Audible, Ltd.
SciFi/Fantasy and Classics to History, Adventure and Memoirs to Social Commentary—I love and listen to it all!
When I finish an audiobook and I get to the, "Audible hopes you enjoyed this...", I can usually say yes or no. At the end of "The Elephant in the Room", however, I found myself quite simply shuddering.
This is a stunning and terrifying account of some bits and pieces of the Trump campaign. It might be unpopular, but everything is taken from the words and sayings of Trump and Alex Jones themselves. Ronson goes to great lengths to clarify what actually is on record, in his usual inimitable style. As depressing and astounding as some of it is, the book is often funny. Even though I cringed mightily, Ronson had me smiling.
Make no mistake. The Left comes off as hateful as the Right, with knee-jerk dismissals, taunting, and even violent behavior. Still, what we've gotten into is bleak.
The book is short, but it's oddly poignant, and Ronson narrates with sublime and hilarious ease. Definitely worth the time, definitely worth the money.
But God Almighty! I'm ready for a bleach dip...
This is an interesting, enjoyable listen, like Jon's books. It's a short essay on a topic surrounded by misinformation, half truths, apologists, etc.. Jon has a unique perspective and style, and his writing comes across as an exploration of that topic rather than a veiled agenda being pushed on the reader. For that reason alone, this essay is worth a listen. His take on Jones, Stone etc. are particularly good. My only complaint is that I finished the book wishing for a more in-depth exploration of the topic.
Avid listener on my daily commute!
If you're like me and never even heard the term "alt-right" until this wretched election cycle, this book is for you. I recommend it without hesitation. Fortunately, due to its brevity, you'll be able to finish it well before Election Day, when you will make possibly the most important choice you've ever had to make as a voter, and the United States will reveal to the rest of the world just what kind of country we are. Thank you, Jon Ronson, for applying your trademark blend of wry humor, keen insight, and scrupulously honest journalistic ethics to this invaluable project; thank you to Audible for making it available on such short notice; and most of all, thank you to my friends and followers on Twitter who recommended it as a must-listen. You certainly were right. God bless us and keep us, every one.
Always moving. Always listening. Always learning. "After all this time?" "Always."
Jon Ronson is an eternal optimist who looks at the United States with an outsider's awe and an amusing feigned naïveté. Take "The Men Who Stare at Goats" (2004), his exploration of the US Army's attempt to get all touchy-feely in the 1980's and explore psychics. No, not psychological warfare. They were trying for mind control. Ronson's take on that colossal waste of resources was innocent wonder, accompanied with quiet debunking.
Ronson resurrects his guileless alter ego in "The Elephant in the Room: A Journey into the Trump Campaign and the Alt-Right" (September 27, 2016) to explore a group of presidential candidate Donald Trump's more visibly radical supporters: nativists, racists and climate change deniers, loosely inspired by Alex Jones of Info Wars dot com. Ronson was in a unique position to do that: in 1999, Ronson and Jones infiltrated Bohemian Grove, an elite camp for the ultra wealthy and powerful, bluffing their way in by the super spy technique of wearing J. Crew clothes and acting like they belonged. That took an admirable amount of chutzpah.
Jones trusts Ronson - well, as much as an actual raving conspiracy theorist can trust anyone, which is not so much. Until I listened to "The Elephant in the Room" I thought 'Infowars' was a concept, like 'psy-ops.' It turns out that Jones runs a group that married extreme conservative political ideology with beliefs in extraterrestrials and divine intervention, and that empire gave birth to nuclear war survival kits, Bill Clinton Rape Whistles, and Hillary for Prison T-Shirts. A lot of what Jones says in his videos and radio broadcasts comes out of Trump's mouth a few days later, unfiltered. I'd wondered where some of Trump's more extreme ideas and beliefs came from. Now I know.
Ronson's piece prompted me to take a look at Jones' website and watch a few of Jones' videos. Jones is a walking, talking paranoid delusion - but he's oh, so, persuasive. This is no smear job of Jones, though. It is a nightmare inducing, deeply disturbing look at the Alt-Right that he inspires.
Ronson is frightened by the potential that someone so controlled by the radical right could become president, but he was comforted by no great missteps by Hillary R. Clinton. That was before October 28, 2016, when FBI director James Comey channeled J. Edgar Hoover to try to influence the 2016 presidential election.
Ronson does his own narration, and he's great - as usual.
(The title of the review is a quote from a Slate Magazine article published on November 5, 2016, discussing how Trump perceived Barrack Obama's reaction to a heckler.)
I've listened to of John Ronson's books and to say that I have enjoyed them all is not entirely correct.
I have learned interesting things from each of his books and I am always somewhat disturbed.
The subject of this book has much more of an effect on society at large then most the subjects of his other books I would say.
From the release date I doubt that this book was circulated widely enough to make much of a difference in the outcome.
That is why I said I almost wish he would've finished it after the election so he could have included his final thoughts.
I know what I think and how I feel but I suppose only time will tell.
I thought Mr. Ronson was very fair and objective when telling this story.
The Alt-Right will be blip on the radar in 10 years, like the Tea Party before them, and the Neocons before them. Right now though, they are a spooky party of children, dangerous children.
The last two minutes say it all. But do yourself a favor and just listen to this short, interesting tale of Jon's. If you're a fan of Jon's, as I am, you know you're in for a narrating treat. He was a great, quirky voice. And, yeah ok, the British accent that American's love is there, too. But it's the story you need to hear. Trump supporters, the honest ones, and you know who you are, please listen and reflect on what you hear. We are all still American's first. For now. And let us all pray that remains to be true. For the record, I was a Bernie guy but voted for Hillary. If this audiobook doesn't scare you, please write in your review why not. I'm looking for a reason not to worry about my country. Help me out. Thanks.
This wasn't quite as entertaining as his other books, perhaps partly because too much of it was retracing stories from his earlier book on conspiracy theories. Admittedly that retracing wasn't the majority of this book, and this wouldn't be a problem for someone who hadn't experienced that earlier book.
Of course. I like his voice and his writing style.
Jon Ronson himself
Considering the results of the election it's very foreboding the note it ends on. Still, it's very important that people know more about how scary a Trump admin will be. This will not end well.
Investigative reporter Jon Ronson visits old cohort Alex Jones and find out where Trump draws his inspiration from...The conspiracy theory rest talkshow host Alex Jones.
"Bit short for a whole credit"
Very interesting, well written and read. However, a whole credit for 1hr 45mins is a bit rich.
"Ronson remixes a greatest hit for this US election essay."
Now that the titular Elephant has left the room and is heading for the roomier accommodations provided by the Oval Office, Ronsons warning arrives too late for me. Not that I could do much about the election result.
It's fine and standard Ronson fare, but not worth a whole credit.
It's very short and having read 'Them' and most of the news articles he cites, I didn't feel I got my money's worth. I should probably have bought the more equitably priced ePub 50 page version. I'll be returning this and will wait patiently for his next full length excursion.
Perceptive and very funny, as usual, but far too short. Surely there's more dirt to dish on Trump than this. Obviously rushed out in time for the election, after which point it's to be hoped that Trump's name takes a back seat in US politics.
"Wow!! Jon does it again."
Jon gets inside the velvet curtain of the alt right. And it is very sad. Insight to Alex Jones and Trumps relationship is Huge.
"A great storyteller"
I always hear Jon Ronson's voice when I read his work anyway. It is an absolute joy to hear him actually do it. Funny and thought-provoking.
"as entertaining as it is baffling and terrifying"
..especially given the election result. so pleased.it was narrated by Jon himself. JR fans won't be let down.
"Ruined by narrator"
I love Jon Ronson, I have read almost every book he has written and loved them all including this one. Sadly the narrator of the this book made it difficult to listen to as his voice just grated on my every nerve.
"Interesting insights from a leftwing infiltrator"
Don't agree with his politics but appreciate his perspective on these events. Need better narrator!
"Fine but short"
Very interesting but short and borrows its best material from a previous book of his.
A rather short book but worth entertaining to unravel the relationship of Trump and Alex Jones.
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