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  • The Elephant in the Room

  • A Journey into the Trump Campaign and the "Alt-Right"
  • By: Jon Ronson
  • Narrated by: Jon Ronson
  • Length: 1 hr and 47 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (889 ratings)

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The Elephant in the Room

By: Jon Ronson
Narrated by: Jon Ronson
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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 listeners say about The Elephant in the Room

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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.

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61 people found this helpful

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A Brief History of Trump - Short but Classic Ronson

I love Jon Ronson's quirky, seeming innocent reporting of really disturbing phenomena, and TEITR is no exception. Penned before the US election, it ends on an upbeat note, imagining the impossibility of a Trump victory, and the confidence that the innate multiculturalism of young Americans would prevail and reject the mad racist rhetoric of the Trump campaign.

As always, Ronson explores the weird and bizarre like the "fake news" conspiracy theories spread by the people behind Trump, in particular the radio show campaigner Alex Jones and sinister Trump advisor Roger Stone. The virulence of the lies they spread, and the fact that the latter previously acted as lobbyist for several blood thirsty dictators, along with Trumps campaign manager makes for disturbing listening.

This is a very short book, and I took advantage of Audibles 40% sale to get it for a few quid, however I would have felt cheated at the full price, though it is an enjoyable listen. It confirmed my every prejudice, about the dangerous fictions of the far right, which is always satisfying, and is made even better because Jon Ronson reads it himself in his own inimical style. I recommend it but buy it at sale prices.

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14 people found this helpful

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  • Si
  • 04-11-16

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.

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11 people found this helpful

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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.

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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.

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Short but awful

The Audiobook itself is great, the content it covers of course it wholly disturbing and awful and gives an extra level of insight into just how messed up it was that this worked. No wonder we are where we are in 2020. A great listen but also a depressing one too.

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4 people found this helpful

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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.

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I love the way Jon Ronson writes.

Only Jon could narrate his own work. You really get a feeling of being there with him in the room .

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Jon Ronson is amazing

The man is funny, his topics and intriguing and always manages to shed a new and unusual light on things he writes about. I have listened to all his writings on Audible and I'm so glad he narrates them himself. He is superb.

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Scary

This is just an incredibly scary account of how scary power can be in the wrong hands. So confusing how a nation could be so brainwashed.

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  • Gillian
  • 26-10-16

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...

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48 people found this helpful

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  • Cynthia
  • 05-11-16

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.)

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  • DanBudda
  • 02-12-16

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.

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  • Thomas Pineros Shields
  • 14-12-16

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.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-11-16

Terrifying

The Alt-Right will be blip on the radar in 10 years, like the Tea Party before them, and the Neocons before them. Right now though, they are a spooky party of children, dangerous children.

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  • robert hansch
  • 24-12-16

the elephant in the room

as most teenagers, he likes to. say fuck alot. I found his hysteria somewhat gay and so typically non empathetic because of his swarmy attitude.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 03-12-16

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.

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  • Blake Smith (@DoctorAtlantis)
  • 02-11-16

great writing, scary subject

In this book Ronson revisits Alex Jones and examines the cords that tie the alt-right to the 2016 US election. Fascinating material.

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  • Matt S.
  • 22-03-19

The Men Behind The Curtain

I loved this. It's the best reveal of a smoke filled backroom that we have today. The Trump machine has an ethical bank balance of zero. Disturbing.

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  • Marguerite
  • 12-11-16

An interesting window into the new Trump world.

For those of us confounded by Trumps election, a funny little education. A short listen, a brief window.

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