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So You've Been Publicly Shamed Hardcover – March 31, 2015

4.4 out of 5 stars 994 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

An Amazon Best Book of April 2015: Author Jon Ronson knows a thing or two about public shaming. When a trio of "academics" hijacked his persona for an infomorph—basically an automated Twitter feed that spewed inane comments about food in his name—he took the fight to the internet, where the virtual, virulent hordes soon compelled the spambot authors to cease and desist. The experience hatched a thought: Once upon a time, if you wanted to participate in a good, old-fashioned public humiliation, you actually had to show up. But as with most everything else, the internet has made condemnation an exercise in crowdsourcing, with today’s angry mobs trading stockades and scarlet As for social media and its inherent anonymity.

So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed is Ronson's tour through a not-necessarily-brave new world where faceless commenters wield the power to destroy lives and careers, where the punishments often outweigh the crimes, and where there is no self-control and (ironically) no consequences. On one hand, part of what makes this book (again, ironically) so fun to read is a certain schadenfreude; it’s fun to read about others' misfortunes, especially if we think they "had it coming." Jonah Lehrer, whose admitted plagiarism and falsifications probably earned him his fall, stalks these pages. But so does Justine Sacco, whose ill-conceived tweet probably didn’t merit hers; as it turns out, the internet doesn’t always differentiate the misdemeanors from the felonies. But the best reason to read this is Ronson's style, which is funny and brisk, yet informative and never condescending. So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed is not a scholarly book, nor is it a workbook about navigating ignominy. It's an entertaining investigation into a growing--and often disturbing--demimonde of uncharitable impulses run amok. --Jon Foro

Review

“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….fascinating…shocking…Mr. Ronson’s gift for detail-picking is, as ever, a treat.” –The New York Times

“A sharp-eyed and often hilarious book…Jon Ronson has written a fresh, big-hearted take on an important and timely topic. He has nothing to be ashamed of.” –NPR.org
 
“A diligent investigator and a wry, funny writer, Ronson manages to be at once academic and entertaining.” –The Boston Globe

“This is a wonderful book.” –Jon Stewart 
 
“This book really needed to be written.” –Salon.com

“Required reading for the internet age.” – Entertainment Weekly

“With an introspective and often funny lens, [Ronson] tracks down those whose blunders have exploded in the public eye…So You've Been Publicly Shamed is an insightful, well-researched, and important text about how we react to others' poor decisions.” –The Huffington Post
 
“Personable and empathetic, Ronson is an entertaining guide to the odd corners of the shame-o-sphere.” –The Minneapolis Star Tribune

“It’s sharply observed, amusingly told, and, while its conclusions may stop just short of profound, the true pleasure of the book lies in arriving at those conclusions.”
 –The Onion

“Like all of Ronson’s books, this one is hard to put down, but you will absolutely do so at some point to Google yourself.” –TheMillions.com

“An irresistibly gossipy cocktail with a chaser of guilt.” –Newsday
 
“With So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed Ronson has written a timely, interesting and titillating read for any Internet drama junkie.” –PopMatters.com

“[A] simultaneously lightweight and necessary book.” –Esquire

"A work of original, inspired journalism, it considers thecomplex dynamics between those who shame and those who are shamed, both of whom can become the focus ofsocial media’s grotesque, disproportionate judgments."  –The Financial Times

"[So You've Been Publicly Shamed] is both entertaining and fair -- a balance we could use a lot more of, online and off."  –Vulture

“Ronson is an entertaining and provocative writer, with a broad reach …[So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed] is a well-reported, entertainingly written account of an important subject.” –The Oregonian

"Ronson is a fun writer to read...fascinating." –Fast Company

“I was mesmerized. And I was also disturbed.”  Forbes

"[So You've Been Publicly Shamed] promises to be the most relevant book of the year." –FlavorWire

"I was sickly fascinated by the book. I think it's Ronson's best book." –Mark Frauenfelder for BoingBoing

"With confidence, verve, and empathy, Ronson skillfully informs and engages the reader without excusing those caught up in the shame game. As he stresses, we are the ones wielding this incredible power over others' lives, often with no regard for the lasting consequences of our actions." –Starred Booklist Review

"Clever and thought-provoking, this book has the potential to open an important dialogue about faux moral posturing online and its potentially disastrous consequences." –Publishers Weekly

“Relentlessly entertaining and thought-provoking.”  The Guardian

 “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
 
“Excruciating, un-put-downable…So You've Been Publicly Shamed is a gripping read, packed with humor and compassion and Ronson's characteristic linguistic juggling of the poignant and the absurd.” –Chapter16.org
 
“A powerful and rewarding read, a book utterly of the moment.”—The Hamilton Spectator

“Ronson is a lovely, fluid writer, and he has a keen eye for painful, telling details.” —The Bloomberg View

“Fascinating and trenchant.” –The Denver Post
 
“[Ronson] is one of our most important modern day thinkers…[So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed] is one of the most therapeutic books imaginable.” – US News & Word Report

“Personable and empathetic, Ronson is an entertaining guide to the odd corners of the shame-o-sphere.” –The Houston Chronicle
 
“[A] satirical Malcolm Gladwell… an accessible, fun read.” – Everyday Ebook

"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

"Jon Ronson is unreal. So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed –everyone should read that book. He’s one of my favorite human beings." – Bill Hader 

"[A] brilliant, thought-provoking book – a fascinating examination of citizen justice, which has enjoyed a great renaissance since the advent of the internet." – Tatler 

 
"A terrifying and keen insight into a new form of misguided mass hysteria." Jesse Eisenberg
 
"A fascinating exploration of modern media and public shaming… It's a great conversation starter. Is Twitter the new Salem Witch trials?"Reese Witherspoon
 


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4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top international reviews

Boingboing
5.0 out of 5 stars It used to be said that there's no such thing as 'bad publicity'. That's no longer true.
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Terry Freedman
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant but uncomfortable reading
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5.0 out of 5 stars Engaging, educational and eye opening!
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5.0 out of 5 stars If ever there was a time
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whalewatcher
5.0 out of 5 stars Abuser addicted to online shaming me
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3.0 out of 5 stars It's a shame to have to write this....
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Dr. Michael Heron
4.0 out of 5 stars The internet runs on outrage.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 30, 2015
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salemskye.com
5.0 out of 5 stars what has it turned us into and whether or not public humiliation and shame is the worst punishment a person can suffer
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 30, 2015
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Koala
4.0 out of 5 stars Better too forgiving than too harsh?
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Holly
5.0 out of 5 stars Online rant-rags, the deep worming of humiliation, and compassion in the unlikeliest of places.
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Janie U
3.0 out of 5 stars Good idea and fascinating personal angles but not enough material for a whole book
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4.0 out of 5 stars must-read
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GeordieReader
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, thought-provoking and also very moving
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Mr. Paul D. Watson
5.0 out of 5 stars Attention span of an adolescent chimp.
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Susan Glazier
5.0 out of 5 stars Confronting us and himself
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