From the Sunday Times top ten bestselling author of The Psychopath Test, a captivating and brilliant exploration of one of our world's most underappreciated forces: shame. 'It's about the terror, isn't it?' 'The terror of what?' I said. 'The terror of being found out.' For the past three years, Jon Ronson has travelled the world meeting 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 their 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.
Simultaneously powerful and hilarious in the way only Jon Ronson can be, So You've Been Publicly Shamed is a deeply honest book about modern life, full of eye-opening truths about the escalating war on human flaws - and the very scary part we all play in it.
From the Sunday Times top-ten bestselling author of The Psychopath Test, a brilliant and hilarious new book exploring the consequences of public shaming
superb and terrifying ... So You've Been Publicly Shamed brings together all of Ronson's virtues as a writer, to a more serious purpose than hitherto ... Ronson is a true virtuoso of the faux-naive style. He is so good at it that it's not irritating ... Ronson has beautiful comic-prose skills ... but Ronson's self-description as a "humorous journalist" is not the whole story. Comedy is his disguise and also his weapon. He is a moralist. Some of his best lines seem casual but contain fierce social diagnoses ... towards the end of his new book, someone accuses him of "prurient curiosity". This prompts what may be taken as a statement of the moral approach behind all his work. "I didn't want to write a book that advocated for a less curious world. Prurient curiosity may not be great. But curiosity is. People's flaws need to be written about. The flaws of some people lead to horrors inflicted on to others. And then there are the more human flaws that, when you shine a light on to them, de-demonise people that might otherwise be seen as ogres." At its best, this is exactly what his writing can do ... relentlessly entertaining and thought-provoking -- Steven Poole Guardian He is such an exceptional writer ... an incredibly funny writer ... a perfect sense of comic timing throughout, but he manages to deal with profound subjects ... so enjoyable ... you can be having a laugh while understanding a social phenomenon in a completely unique way; it's such a great book ... We're buying it! The BBC Radio 2 Arts Show with Claudia Winkleman A magnificent book, subtly argued, often painfully funny and yet deeply serious... I'm not sure I can recommend it highly enough Daily Mail A work of original, inspired journalism, it considers the complex dynamics between those who shame and those who are shamed, both of whom can become the focus of social media's grotesque, disproportionate judgments -- Laurence Scott Financial Times Ronson is our current master of smarter-than-average pop nonfiction that combines social science, investigative journalism and no shortage of style ... Ronson and his subjects are strikingly candid about their fears, which is compelling if not always comfortable to read. But the book slowly turns out to be about something bigger than it seems: a survival guide to living with shame both public and private, an inevitable consequence of being human. Saturday Paper (Australia) Ronson's finely attuned ear for dialogue and his skilfully deployed nebbishness ensure a pacy but discomfiting read -- Gillian Terzis The Australian Jon Ronson's great strength as a writer is his empathy with his subject, which seems to bring about trust and openness from his interviewees. Like all journalists, he is a voyeur, but he is sensitive with his material and self-analytical enough to realise his own part in the phenomenon. So You've Been Publicly Shamed is an interesting commentary on human behaviour and its consequences. The Register immensely readable -- Will Dean Independent [A] brilliant, thought-provoking book - a fascinating examination of citizen justice, which has enjoyed a great renaissance since the advent of the internet Tatler Amusing and thought-provoking Daily Telegraph Certainly, no reader could finish it without feeling a need to be gentler online, to defer judgment, not to press the retweet button, to resist that primal impulse to stoke the fires of shame The Times As in his previous books, Ronson's style is to take us with him wherever the story goes, curiosity his guide. But unlike bestsellers The Men Who Stare At Goats (US new age warfare), The Psychopath Test (the mental health 'industry') or Them (ideological extremism), Shamed is not a critique of those at the fringes of our society, it's about us - or at least the very many of us who take to Twitter to heap vitriol on those we feel deserve it Metro Jon Ronson is one of the funniest writers we have Red Hugely entertaining National Engrossing and terrifying New Statesman Ronson specialises in writing witty, wide-eyed, free-wheeling books ... He is full of curiosity, and writes in a friendly, slightly faux-naif voice, but with strong moral antennae -- Craig Brown Mail on Sunday Compulsively readable -- Rachel Cooke Observer So You've Been Publicly Shamed is possibly [Ronson's] most ambitious project yet ... a brilliantly articulated, sensitively rendered attempt to reform the world -- Charlie Gilmour Independent So You've Been Publicly Shamed is fascinating, insightful and amusing and should be read by everyone Women24 Everyone who has any kind of online presence - including anonymous below-the-line commenters - will find this book gripping ... Ronson remains one of our finest comic writers -- India Knight Spectator [A] simultaneously lightweight and necessary book Esquire I was mesmerized. And I was also disturbed -- Cheryl Conner Forbes Gutsy and smart... Without losing any of the clever agility that makes his books so winning, he has taken on truly consequential material and risen to the challenge -- Janet Maslin New York Times Read this book. Then tell someone else about it. Make sure you leave it in a place where an unsuspecting teen is lingering, they too could benefit from these timely fables of the digital world -- Elisabeth Marrow Wairarapa Times A gripping book, well written, articulate, honest and incredibly relevant in today's society. A book everyone with a twitter account should read ... This is a book that will grip you and really make you think about 21st century society in a different way, definitely one to read, and one to read now New Zealand Library Blogspot Ronson is adept at taking a topic and explaining it through a number of case studies ... His facts are gathered first-hand, his experiences conveyed with sharp observations of scene and character, and his conclusions logical. As contemporary society becomes ever more connected, Ronson's lessons will become even more important Sunday Star Times Witty ...clever and thought-provoking Publishers Weekly This book really needed to be written Salon One of our most important modern day thinkers, Jon Ronson ... has written one of the most therapeutic books imaginable -- Howard Forman US News & Word Report I very much enjoyed Jon Ronson's salutary examination of what happens when the internet turns on you: So You've Been Publicly Shamed (Picador). One stupid picture, one misplaced joke, and your life can be completely trashed. The book examines a very dark corner of the times we live in but manages to be both entertaining and humane -- Anthony Horowitz Telegraph So You've Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson is the non-fiction book of the year - an alarming examination of victims and victimisers in the new social media sport of mob justice. -- Mark Lawson, Best Holiday Reads 2015 Guardian Jon Ronson is unreal. So You've Been Publicly Shamed - everyone should read that book.He's one of my favourite human beings. -- Bill Hader We love Jon Ronson. He's thoughtful and very funny. [So You've Been Publicly Shamed] is a great book about the way the internet can gang up on people and shame them, when they deserve it, when they don't deserve it and it's great -- Judd Apatow A chilling look at how social media encourages witch hunts -- Helen Lewis
Jon Ronson is an award-winning writer and documentary maker. He is the author of many bestselling books, including Frank: The True Story that Inspired the Movie, Lost at Sea: The Jon Ronson Mysteries, The Psychopath Test, The Men Who Stare at Goats and Them: Adventures with Extremists. His first fictional screenplay, Frank, co-written with Peter Straughan, starred Michael Fassbender. He lives in London and New York City.