So You've Been Publicly Shamed
From Jon Ronson, the Sunday Times top ten bestselling author of The Psychopath Test, this is 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.
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
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