Insane Clown President
Dispatches from the 2016 Circus
Matt Taibbi is the author of The Divide, the “impossible to put down” (NYT) book that uncovers America’s wealth gap. He’s also one of our most informed—and funniest—chroniclers of Trump’s rise to power: the basis of his new book Insane Clown President: Dispatches from the 2016 Circus. In talks, Taibbi paints an alarming portrait of American life—where basic rights are determined by wealth or poverty—and provides a way forward against this urgent crisis.
In Insane Clown President, Matt Taibbi offers a postmortem on American democracy: a story of nationalism, spectacle over substance, and the decay of traditional institutions—even truth. It’s a stunning analysis of the 2016 election, the rise of Trump, and the shattering of the political establishment: a prescient and riveting take on what it means to be a journalist (and citizen) in the new America.
In his New York Times bestseller The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap, Taibbi takes readers on a galvanizing journey through both sides of our new system of justice—the untouchably wealthy and the criminalized poor. As he narrates these incredible stories, he draws out and analyzes their common source, and unveils what we need to do to stand up against the troubling trend of the Divide. In a review of the book for BoingBoing, Cory Doctorow wrote: “Taibbi’s spectacular financial reporting for Rolling Stone set him out as the best running commentator on the financial crisis and its crimes, and The Divide—beautifully illustrated by Molly Crabapple—shows that at full length, he’s even better.”
“The Divide is not just a report from the new America; it is advocacy journalism at its finest.”— Los Angeles Times
Taibbi is also the author of Griftopia, one of the most entertainingly quotable, scathing, and illuminating histories of the economic crisis. In 2008, he won the National Magazine Award for his columns in Rolling Stone, for which he writes. He is also the author of The Great Derangement: A Terrifying True Story of War, Politics and Religion.
Over the last two decades, America has been falling deeper and deeper into a statistical mystery: Poverty goes up. Crime goes down. The prison population doubles. Fraud by the rich wipes out 40 percent of the world’s wealth. The rich get massively richer. No one goes to jail. In search of a solution, Matt Taibbi discovered the Divide, the seam in American life where our two most troubling trends—growing wealth inequality and mass incarceration—come together, driven by a dramatic shift in American citizenship: Our basic rights are now determined by our wealth or poverty. In this talk, Taibbi takes takes audiences on a galvanizing journey through both sides of our new system of justice—the worlds of the untouchably wealthy and the criminalized poor. Through astonishing—and enraging—accounts of the high-stakes capers of the wealthy and nightmare stories of regular people caught in the Divide’s punishing logic, Taibbi lays bare one of the greatest challenges we face in contemporary American life: surviving a system that devours the lives of the poor, turns a blind eye to the destructive crimes of the wealthy, and implicates us all.