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The Elephant in the Room Audiobook

The Elephant in the Room: A Journey into the Trump Campaign and the "Alt-Right"

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Publisher's Summary

'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.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.5 (230 )
5 star
 (147)
4 star
 (61)
3 star
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2 star
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Overall
4.6 (202 )
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4.7 (202 )
5 star
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 (34)
3 star
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2 star
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Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Mooma 31/10/2016
    Mooma 31/10/2016 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    24
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    93
    13
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    "Bit short for a whole credit"

    Very interesting, well written and read. However, a whole credit for 1hr 45mins is a bit rich.

    12 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Si UK 04/11/2016
    Si UK 04/11/2016 Member Since 2016

    Barely human.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    89
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    "Rushed?"

    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.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mr Shinealight 18/11/2016
    Mr Shinealight 18/11/2016

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    "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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    BoB London, UK 30/11/2016
    BoB London, UK 30/11/2016 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott Seivwright 26/10/2016 Member Since 2014
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    "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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Simon Reid 09/02/2017
    Simon Reid 09/02/2017
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    "(requiredheading)"

    too short but other than that excellent and timely, first Robson I've read, will be getting more...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    dot_stockport 03/01/2017
    dot_stockport 03/01/2017 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "scary people"

    A qualified title would be "conversations with and backgrounds of someone who was part of the campaign and was said to be still doing work for the campaign, and a guy who has knows him and appears to be influential". They are scary people nevertheless and Ronson's perspective may well hold water.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Omotola Alade 17/12/2016
    Omotola Alade 17/12/2016 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "lol inside view"

    excellent book. it captures the fear of the election period and shows how bad a man donald trump is.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard Joyce 28/11/2016
    Richard Joyce 28/11/2016

    richy68

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    "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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tim 18/11/2016
    Tim 18/11/2016
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    "Fine but short"

    Very interesting but short and borrows its best material from a previous book of his.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Gillian
    Austin, TX, United States
    26/10/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "As Others See Us--"

    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...

    25 of 28 people found this review helpful
  • Terry Masters
    Tennessee, USA
    01/11/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Short but Good"

    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.

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Thomas Pineros Shields
    Salem, MA
    14/12/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Terrifying Must-Read for Trump's New Order"

    This short trek behind the scenes of the 2016 RNC reveals how organized hate has become institutionalized power. Trump's love affair with "deplorables" was not an accident but an intentional effort to draw the media attention to him and to win the presidency. The response of the left and its online hate also receives its deserved critique. I found myself learning to appreciate Glenn Beck of all people.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Joyce Luther
    United States
    03/12/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Almost wish that he would have finished the book after the election."

    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.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Gretchen SLP
    Sacramento, California
    31/10/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Chilling, Enlightening, Required Reading"

    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.

    5 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Cynthia
    Monrovia, California, United States
    05/11/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "In a Parallel Reality"

    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.)

    12 of 20 people found this review helpful
  • DanBudda
    Detroit, MI USA
    02/12/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Buckle up, kiddies. It's gonna be a bumpy ride."

    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.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Christopher D. Harris
    20/11/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "This was fine but not great"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    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.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Jon Ronson? Why or why not?

    Of course. I like his voice and his writing style.


    Which character – as performed by Jon Ronson – was your favorite?

    Jon Ronson himself


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Serena M. Rodriguez
    18/11/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Important reading/listening"

    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.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • B. Patton
    San Francisco
    14/11/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Did you know that Trump was quoting Alex Jones when he pointed out fraud at the DNC?"

    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.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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