New York : Spiegel & Grau, 2017.
"Matt Taibbi's first piece on the 2016 presidential election, published in August 2015, opens with these words: "The thing is, 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." In twenty-four pieces from Rolling Stone--plus two original essays--Taibbi tells the full story the campaign, from its tragi-comic beginnings to its apocalyptic conclusion, through sharp, on-the-ground reporting, incisive analysis, and gallows humor. This isn't simply a blow-by-blow recounting of this uniquely bizarre and disturbing election season, but the wider story of the seeming collapse of American democracy. Unlike many campaign chroniclers, Taibbi grasped the essential themes of the story from beginning: the power of spectacle over substance, or even truth; the absence of a shared reality between warring sides of the political spectrum; 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 that would destroy what was left of the Kingian dream of a successful pluralistic society. The pieces cover the "clown car" of the Republican primary season, the thwarted Bernie insurgency, the deeply flawed and aimless Clinton campaign, the often pathetic media coverage, the legacy of the Obama administration, and the lives of actual voters across the country forced to bear witness to the whole dispiriting spectacle"--,Provided by publisher.