The Chapo Guide to Revolution
“Howard Zinn on acid or some bullsh*t like that.” —Tim HeideckerThe creators of the cult-hit podcast Chapo Trap House deliver a manifesto for everyone who feels orphaned and alienated—politically, culturally, and economically—by the bloodless Wall Street centrism of the Democrats and the lizard-brained atavism of the right: there is a better way, the Chapo Way.In a manifesto that renders all previous attempts at political satire obsolete, The Chapo Guide to Revolution shows you that you don’t have to side with either the pear-shaped vampires of the right or the craven, lanyard-wearing wonks of contemporary liberalism. These self-described “assholes from the internet” offer a fully ironic ideology for all who feel politically hopeless and prefer broadsides and tirades to reasoned debate. Learn the “secret” history of the world, politics, media, and everything in-between that THEY don’t want you to know and chart a course from our wretched present to a utopian future where one can post in the morning, game in the afternoon, and podcast after dinner without ever becoming a poster, gamer, or podcaster.The Chapo Guide to Revolution features illustrated taxonomies of contemporary liberal and conservative characters, biographies of important thought leaders, “never before seen” drafts of Aaron Sorkin’s Newsroom manga, and the ten new laws that govern Chapo Year Zero (everyone gets a dog, billionaires are turned into Soylent, and logic is outlawed). If you’re a fan of sacred cows, prisoners being taken, and holds being barred, then this book is NOT for you. However, if you feel disenfranchised from the political and cultural nightmare we’re in, then Chapo, let’s go...

The Chapo Guide to Revolution Details

TitleThe Chapo Guide to Revolution
Author
ReleaseAug 21st, 2018
PublisherTouchstone
Rating
GenrePolitics, Nonfiction, Humor, Philosophy, History

The Chapo Guide to Revolution Review

  • James
    January 1, 1970
    I haven’t read a word of this book yet, but if it’s anything like as sharp-witted and bullshit-free as the podcast, this will be required reading for 2018.
  • Chris Molnar
    January 1, 1970
    The constant flow of ironic humor and astute socio-political analysis makes for a quick yet complex and informative read. I was astounded by how intuitively the prose was able to change register from utterly silly to near academic without confusing or losing the reader. There wasn't much, if any, overlap with preexisting podcast episodes, and although the "guide" format doesn't make sense if you think about it too hard, each section felt essential and true. Split up topically, each part tackles The constant flow of ironic humor and astute socio-political analysis makes for a quick yet complex and informative read. I was astounded by how intuitively the prose was able to change register from utterly silly to near academic without confusing or losing the reader. There wasn't much, if any, overlap with preexisting podcast episodes, and although the "guide" format doesn't make sense if you think about it too hard, each section felt essential and true. Split up topically, each part tackles a different core subject - the way late capitalism dehumanizes us (in work, media, and so forth), the way neoliberalism and its exponents support it, and how we get backed into it by the pure evil of the American right, etc., all of which is shown through the most absurd and/or telling examples. They present the past, present, and possible future of this situation in a gregarious, engaging way, serious research leavened with their Weird Twitter-style humor.The advance edition did not have all of Eli Valley's illustrations extant, but the ones present were very good, parodying a number of different cartoon idioms. The presence of Amber A'Lee Frost was missed - I don't know why as co-host she wasn't involved. Probably had better things to do, like organizing. I'm not sure what someone who hasn't listened to the podcast would make of all the in-jokes, but it stands with their best episodes as some of the funniest, most trenchant commentary on the current American scene.
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  • C. Varn
    January 1, 1970
    Better than I was expecting given its marketing, but I am not the audience it is written for entirely.I recently took umbrage at the seeming Sorrelian nature of the subtitle, but realized that it was a shot at Vox on one-hand and alt-light pseudo intellectualism on the other. The problem with this book is that it isn't for me: it is playing Dave Barry meets younger millennial post-4chan humor for baby leftists. It's critiques are often dead on but positive politics implied by authors--Sander's D Better than I was expecting given its marketing, but I am not the audience it is written for entirely.I recently took umbrage at the seeming Sorrelian nature of the subtitle, but realized that it was a shot at Vox on one-hand and alt-light pseudo intellectualism on the other. The problem with this book is that it isn't for me: it is playing Dave Barry meets younger millennial post-4chan humor for baby leftists. It's critiques are often dead on but positive politics implied by authors--Sander's Democratic Socialism or Corbynism-- rhymes with a lot of what they critique about New Deal liberalism. At times legitimately funny and at times insightful, it also is limited by focusing too much on political culture and punditry to as insightful as it could be at satire. If one is new to anti-imperialism or socialism, I am sure they will find themselves laughing into learning more but if you aren't, you will get a few chuckles and probably move on. I do sometimes wish the irony and hyperbole wasn't laid on so thick that one can't parse the exact nature of the left-wing commitments of Chapo Trap House, but I admit that I enjoyed this and read it in less than an hour despite coming in highly skeptical.
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  • Donald
    January 1, 1970
    I reviewed this book for Harper's Magazine.https://harpers.org/blog/2018/08/chap...
  • Rob
    January 1, 1970
    As much as I love the podcast and what the Chapo team has done for political discourse in the last few years, this really isn't a good book. It's very disjointed and tonally all over the place. At times, it is wryly informative and clever. However, it leans on contemporary memes and internet speak and won't age well. The podcast forces a freshness to the humor that is lost in the book. The irreverence in the episodes is grounded in serious political thought. The book has lost that seriousness, a As much as I love the podcast and what the Chapo team has done for political discourse in the last few years, this really isn't a good book. It's very disjointed and tonally all over the place. At times, it is wryly informative and clever. However, it leans on contemporary memes and internet speak and won't age well. The podcast forces a freshness to the humor that is lost in the book. The irreverence in the episodes is grounded in serious political thought. The book has lost that seriousness, and pushes the acerbic humor too hard. It's comparable to any number of comedian autobiographies. There are laughs to be had, but ultimately, this is not the authors' medium. Something is lost in the translation.
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  • David Dayen
    January 1, 1970
    The boys are back in this charming romp through American history, featuring aspiring actor Vinny Chase and his coterie of even less-talented hangers-on. Watch them sick-burn their way to legendary status, taking no prisoners and even getting into some japes and scrapes. As they "hug it out" on the path to political superstardom, you won't want to wait for the movie serialization and will start acting it out on your couch in between mouthfuls of fair-trade macadamia nuts. Come for the "hot or not The boys are back in this charming romp through American history, featuring aspiring actor Vinny Chase and his coterie of even less-talented hangers-on. Watch them sick-burn their way to legendary status, taking no prisoners and even getting into some japes and scrapes. As they "hug it out" on the path to political superstardom, you won't want to wait for the movie serialization and will start acting it out on your couch in between mouthfuls of fair-trade macadamia nuts. Come for the "hot or not" ranking of former Supreme Court justices; stay for the creation of catch phrases like "no, YOUR means of production" and "Brosephine." It'll be the talk of 9th-floor trading room water coolers everywhere.
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  • Ben
    January 1, 1970
    My copy of the book came in two weeks early! I spent the last two weeks slowly working my way through this book and was consistently entertained by the irreverent, on-the-pulse prose. Strong recommendation for any fan of the podcast!The book is split into six main sections: World, Libs, Cons, Media, Culture, and Work, with some hilarious interludes like a kid-zone puzzle page spread, a Newsroom manga, and some fantastic art by Eli Valley. The prose really shines in the Libs, Cons, and Media chap My copy of the book came in two weeks early! I spent the last two weeks slowly working my way through this book and was consistently entertained by the irreverent, on-the-pulse prose. Strong recommendation for any fan of the podcast!The book is split into six main sections: World, Libs, Cons, Media, Culture, and Work, with some hilarious interludes like a kid-zone puzzle page spread, a Newsroom manga, and some fantastic art by Eli Valley. The prose really shines in the Libs, Cons, and Media chapters, with razor sharp commentary on the state of each respective political class, their murky histories, and the dangers of each's ideologies in the strange landscape of America today. While I was a little underwhelmed by the Culture and Work chapters, mainly because they're a bit too short to feel as meaningful as the chapters that preceded them, the whole book manages to be consistently sharp, funny, and insightful.
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  • Todd N
    January 1, 1970
    This isn’t a guide to revolution so much as collection of takes on the hellscape that is present day America. That might be enough to shock the reader into wondering why things are the way they are or even look into a local DSA chapter, or maybe they’ll just put it on their bookshelf next to the Onion collections.This book is also the centrist Democrat’s worst fear: being attacked from the left.I‘m a big fan the podcast so I’m clearly the target audience for the book. I even mispronounced some o This isn’t a guide to revolution so much as collection of takes on the hellscape that is present day America. That might be enough to shock the reader into wondering why things are the way they are or even look into a local DSA chapter, or maybe they’ll just put it on their bookshelf next to the Onion collections.This book is also the centrist Democrat’s worst fear: being attacked from the left.I‘m a big fan the podcast so I’m clearly the target audience for the book. I even mispronounced some of the words in my head as I read to make it feel more like the podcast. Recommended even though it suffers from grave lack of Amber. I preordered the hardcover and then read it on my overpriced Amazon Kindle, so I’ll probably be first against the wall when the revolution finally comes.Below are a few choice sentences that I felt compelled to highlight, so you can decide whether you want to read the book.• You don’t have to side with either the pear-shaped vampires of the Right or the craven, lanyard-wearing corporate wonks of the center-left.• How much safer would both America and the rest of the world be right now if our government’s response to 9/11 was to pretend it didn’t happen and do absolutely nothing?• Despite the gaudy, ongoing celebrations of American Exceptionalism, this country has been reduced to being the military arm of international capital.• Now they [post-November 2016 liberals] spend their days barking into the void, punching out a Möbius strip of tweets and blog posts, safe inside their own heads, safe from the world that their dull, smug, dead-end politics have wrought.• If you’re reading this book in one of the few “free” moments you have, on your way to a job that’s slowly sapping your will to live, you already know that the good side won.• By creating a character who was supposed to be the coolest guy ever and who directly said all the things she believed, [Ayn] Rand took literature to a brave and bold new place.• Not much is known about [William F.] Buckley’s early life; he first appears as a member of Yale’s Skull and Bones society, where he quickly rose to prominence by spending the longest time ever jacking off in a coffin.• At the grassroots level, support for obscene military spending and imperial bloodletting satisfies a deep psychic need among neutered and demoralized American men.• The Message Board Atheist, the Libertarian Logical Fallacy Man, and the Age of Consent Warrior all existed as separate entities in the earlier days of the Internet,• As a sexual degenerate who disseminated totally useless advice to the ignorant masses ... Ben Franklin was also our nation’s first pundit.• All the cultural modes of resistance slowly turned into marketing categories, and the brave hippie dipshits of the sixties left us with an even more powerful money machine, totally compatible with social liberalism and openly unafraid of the militant but always shrinking left-wing movement.• There are many classic Garfield collections that belong in the American canon, such as Garfield: Bigger Than Life, Garfield: The Big Cheese, and Garfield: Origins, but Garfield: His 9 Lives warrants special consideration for the astonishing and groundbreaking questions it poses about the very nature of literature and authorial intent.• Everything shitty about libs, from their smugness to their worship of decorum to their embarrassing rhetoric of “resistance,” is arguably [Aaron] Sorkin’s fault. ... Watching The West Wing twenty years on, you realize that as the Democrats lost each and every municipal, state, and now national office, their self-perception as heroic Jed Bartlets and C. J. Creggs and Josh Lymans only grew deeper and more convinced.• As a reward for being a good test taker—or, more likely, for being the child of a good test taker—bosses are compensated at a rate that would shame the Egyptian pharaohs, all in return for “blue-sky thinking” and “inno-vention” that mostly involves putting a marketable gloss on wage theft and parasitic rent-seeking.• In our modern information economy, we might find this absurd—the idea of a [medieval] job that requires you to be responsive to your boss’s whims at all hours of the week for little to no compensation, forced to adopt officially acceptable political and religious views under threat of termination, and made to live in tiny, dilapidated quarters with total strangers.• The survivors of the dot-com bubble have created an economy so fucking stupid that it’s practically one of those Old Testament stories in which a bunch of assholes try to build a tower that will allow them to touch the face of YHWH and receive an ironic punishment from God.• After all, cops are workers, just like anyone else. Yes, they’ll stave in your skull if you organize for a union, but they also head outside every day, see a meme with an unattributed quote from Kanye saying that rapping is harder than being a cop, write utterly moronic open letters steeped in self-pity despite having a less dangerous job than crab fishermen, and then spend the rest of the day playing with the repurposed Stinger missiles that the federal government gave their department.
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  • John Edgar Mihelic
    January 1, 1970
    My parents on their shelf when I was growing up that any number of Comedy books that were sitting around and I picked up some of them when I was older and I read them but the problem with these books when I picked up and read them was that they were really made for the moment. The one I remember the most was his book called “real men don't eat quiche” which was essentially this masculine Panic thing that must have happened sometime in the early 80s and was trying to redefine what men were women My parents on their shelf when I was growing up that any number of Comedy books that were sitting around and I picked up some of them when I was older and I read them but the problem with these books when I picked up and read them was that they were really made for the moment. The one I remember the most was his book called “real men don't eat quiche” which was essentially this masculine Panic thing that must have happened sometime in the early 80s and was trying to redefine what men were women coming into the workforce and more jittery quality of his push back but they made it funny by having this is what real men are. It was of a time where the best thing you really compare those to are these toys such as the GI Joe or the He-Man characters that kids could buy and they were does all hyper masculine to the movies freaking Conan the Barbarian whatever etcetera all the way through Top Gun to this is and is Backlash to femininity.And this is all to say that is book I have in front of me the Chapo Guy to Revolution a Manifesto against logic facts and Reason by the Chapo Trap House guys is a very much of that same sort of demode book that does catch a Zeitgeist very well. I think the problem will be taking this book up and looking at it into 5 or 10 years and looking back and asking what are these Guy saying because references are all very current. If it was good it was fun to read I enjoyed it very much because it's written towards me. I’m the audience. I'm younger, male, I'm on Twitter a lot though I don't listen to the podcast which I think is a key part of the audience since you're going to have to spread out and go hey here you read this book you don't want it to be just a small subset of the people who are already listener's I don't know how big that audience is.But even with that consideration the problem is that there's few too few people who know who chapotraphouse is and if they do they have a preconceived notions about who they are and what they stand for. The book can be for people who don’t know who Chapo is. I was reading book laughing and smiling and the thing is my wife at ask me who is that ? My wife is smart same age range but she's not on Twitter. She doesn't listen to podcasts specifically the trap house or anything else so she is going to be this whole milieu. The problem with the book itself is that it is a lot of inside jokes but is not going to be expensive in terms of making the audience everyone else.The book itself is fun to read is interesting is very quick read; the illustrations are interesting they're good to look at the only work really well with the black and white. The only real criticism of it would be that it is more critical of existing culture that it is about laying A positive program For for what what if you look like and not to be too critical of the Traphouse guy but it is it is in criticizing the book that I kind of wish they'd written and not in the book they did write so the book they did write was enjoyable.If you are younger left wing I would say this is a book that you would read and you enjoy this is a text for the revolution beyond the Bernard would have won Revolution the Chapo Revolution. Join it; be part of it; be one of us.
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  • Peter Mcloughlin
    January 1, 1970
    Really irreverent, really funny, and totally on target. Summing up our age and how the modern hellscape we live in came about. Also, the depiction of the bestiary one finds of centrist libs and lizard brain right wingers are hilarious. Some of the memorable types on display are bow tie dipshit, Wine mom, reactionary oligarch. Excellent history of the degeneration of our politics with so many references that only people marinating in history and politics will get. Excellent book.Here is a clip of Really irreverent, really funny, and totally on target. Summing up our age and how the modern hellscape we live in came about. Also, the depiction of the bestiary one finds of centrist libs and lizard brain right wingers are hilarious. Some of the memorable types on display are bow tie dipshit, Wine mom, reactionary oligarch. Excellent history of the degeneration of our politics with so many references that only people marinating in history and politics will get. Excellent book.Here is a clip of the Trapo crew. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F9pOY...
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  • Matt Brady
    January 1, 1970
    buy the book
  • Perry
    January 1, 1970
    Never listened to the podcast, so I'm only really familiar with the group by secondhand infamy, so I honestly don't know why I decided to give this a read. But I'm glad I did, because this is probably the most consistently funny book I've read all year - as grotesque and existentially horrifying as much of the subject matter is. The humor, of course, is very mean, very angry, and most likely very annoying for most people - but I dunno, I liked it a whole lot. Sue me.
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  • Mikołaj Niedorezo
    January 1, 1970
    buy the book.
  • Killian
    January 1, 1970
    The book isn't as uproariously funny as the Podcast, oftentimes feeling rushed and incomplete, but the $22 it cost me to get feels like an adequate tithe for over 75 hours of free content they give to their audience yearly.
  • Jack
    January 1, 1970
    I decided to read this because I listen to the podcast semi-regularly, but I’m a little confused by what its target audience is. I’m not American and consider what I listen to on commutes to be essentially my own business, so maybe I’m not fully aware of the ‘social phenomenon’ of the Chapo podcast that prompted this book. It certainly isn’t intended for casual - or even serious - listeners of the podcast, as it is essentially a retread of their broad themes and humour, but it seems far too self I decided to read this because I listen to the podcast semi-regularly, but I’m a little confused by what its target audience is. I’m not American and consider what I listen to on commutes to be essentially my own business, so maybe I’m not fully aware of the ‘social phenomenon’ of the Chapo podcast that prompted this book. It certainly isn’t intended for casual - or even serious - listeners of the podcast, as it is essentially a retread of their broad themes and humour, but it seems far too self-interested and insular to work as an introduction to the podcast either. I’ve never found Chapo laugh-out-loud funny, and I don’t particularly enjoy powerless, righteous anger towards the world, so the book doesn’t really have any strengths to me. It’s a very easy read, and I can imagine this being very influential on my thinking if I had read it at 14. A good edgy-gossipy-bitch guide to politics for younger teens.
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  • Kars
    January 1, 1970
    A funny and incisive critique of American politics and why socialism is the only viable alternative to the current system. The later chapters on media, culture and work are also quite relevant to the world beyond the US, because of globalization and all. If you are in search of the correct mindset to succeed in today’s economy, look no further.
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  • Brendan O'keefe
    January 1, 1970
    This book articulates the correct perspective on American politics 😋. Now I wish there was a version that wasn't so thick with sarcasm, inside jokes and heavy dude vibe (where was Amber?) for normal people to read.
  • Joe Bush
    January 1, 1970
    The section about Picasso’s Guernica is legitimately the hardest I’ve laughed at a book in a long time. Also grateful that Virgil got a GameMasterAnthony namedrop in there
  • Dan Bland
    January 1, 1970
    I've been stoked about this for months.
  • Thomas Estabrook
    January 1, 1970
    Will reside on my shelf next to classics like "Otis 4000 Operation and Maintenance Manual" and "Freight Trains of North America 1957-63"
  • Muhammed Nazir
    January 1, 1970
    Not read a single word but listening to the podcast I know it is gonna be off the wall stuff and it will be good.
  • Christopher
    January 1, 1970
    5 stars for comedy, 3 stars for actual political content to justify the term manifesto. Definitely worth your time though not only for the excellent Eli Valley illustrations but also because you should give it to the lanyards with names like 'Marshall Newman' and 'McSkaleighlough Connecticut-Kaleton' you know. Its positively therapeutic to read (and attend the book signing) when in DC too, let me tell you. The cheers and jeers unleashed by a whole crowd of Districtites who are not part of the Se 5 stars for comedy, 3 stars for actual political content to justify the term manifesto. Definitely worth your time though not only for the excellent Eli Valley illustrations but also because you should give it to the lanyards with names like 'Marshall Newman' and 'McSkaleighlough Connecticut-Kaleton' you know. Its positively therapeutic to read (and attend the book signing) when in DC too, let me tell you. The cheers and jeers unleashed by a whole crowd of Districtites who are not part of the SensibleSeriousConsensus by John McCain and Hillary Clinton jokes was like the desperate cry of release from those damned to be in the one place in the country where a majority of people *actually respect* those sad hacks.Plus, the more copies it sells, as was mentioned previously on the show, the more likely it is that David Brooks will have to write a column about it. And come on, that would be amazing. The Chapo reading of that column, even moreso.Anyway, since this is a post about media on social media, I wanted to just leave this somewhat edited for brevity segment that most stuck out with me:'The Sorkin Mindset:Liberals, having sold out decades ago and laid the welcome mat for a new era of right wing domination, have long retreated into a realm of fantasy. In the aftermath of the 2016 elections, they've disappeared into cultural cosplay more than ever before-and no one has done more to sculpt their virtual reality than the master of the monologue, the king of quips, the ayatollah of argument: Aaron Sorkin.Everything shitty about libs, from their smugness to their worship of decorum to their embarrassing rhetoric of 'resistance', is arguably Sorkin's fault. [...] Sorkin's preeminence in the world of political drama testifies to the destitution of American culture. Through some alien brain virus, people have learned to regard Sorkin's Adderall-fueled schlock as the gold standard......This shit went from pages on a cokehead's laptop to a network TV show straight to the Obama administration: Obungler came onto the scene in 2004 with his Sorkinesque DNC speech about how there's no 'red or blue America,' then campaigned on 'bipartisan', non-ideological solutions to the unambiguously partisan and ideological onslaught of right wing America. And we don't need to go into all the ways the administration pursued the stupid neoliberal fantasia that West Wing characters preached, like getting everyone of both sides into the same room to hash out the most reasonable solution to a divisive problem......You could see how ill-equipped to operate in the real world this liberal adulation of the office of the president was once the reign of Democrats in the twentieth century came to an end. As soon as they slipped out of power, their ideology-their mythology, really-left nothing in the toolbox that would get them back in. They were equipped only to keep inheriting power; as soon as they lost it they had no tools or vision for getting it back. Watching the The West Wing twenty years on, you realize that as the Democrats lost every municipal, state, and now national office, their self-perception as heroic Jed Bartlets and CJ Creggs and Josh Lymans only grew deeper and more convinced. The further liberals got from power, the further they delved into fantasy and the more they approached Sorkin's pithy banter, letting events pass by, letting history shove their heads down the toilet for a swirly scored by the tinkling notes of Thomas Newman.'~The Chapo Guide to Revolution: A Manifesto Against Logice, Facts, and Reason. Harvested from pages 228-234
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  • Bill
    January 1, 1970
    Do you know those guys who read Howard Zinn and Loewen in High School and College, then wrote a blog about how the US was corrupt, how their history classes were bourgeoisie propaganda, and their parents were sell-outs? They got into podcasting. The Chapo Guide to Revolution is about how messed up the world is, covering "the World", Libs, Cons (Conservatives), Media, and Work. It's a general overview of the world according to Chapo, where nobody* is safe (unless you are an country the US has fou Do you know those guys who read Howard Zinn and Loewen in High School and College, then wrote a blog about how the US was corrupt, how their history classes were bourgeoisie propaganda, and their parents were sell-outs? They got into podcasting. The Chapo Guide to Revolution is about how messed up the world is, covering "the World", Libs, Cons (Conservatives), Media, and Work. It's a general overview of the world according to Chapo, where nobody* is safe (unless you are an country the US has fought with and/or Socialist), and the world of your parents has been comprised by....compromise. And Aaron Sorkin. The biggest problem with the book is that it never tries to teach you history or bring you into the joke. If you are already part of their choir, you will be preached to and laugh at all of the jokes. If you are unfamiliar with Chapo or disagree with them in any way, they've already written you off. History is referenced as a foregone conclusion with examples of how right Chapo is and any events that run counter to Chapo are smoothed down until Chapo is right. This is fine if you think of this book only as a joke or another Chapo manual. If, however, you want to learn more about the events listed, then you are out of luck. Look elsewhere, preferably at a Chapo approved source. And don't ask too many questions about what Radicals, Progressives, and Socialists have been doing to improve their society. It's a sore subject for Chapo, who spend two pages lamenting the lack of progress and saying Capitalists are to blame. (to be fair, there are at least five words mentioning internal strife within Socialist parties. Balanced reporting and all that). Overall, if you are a fan of Chapo already, then this book is for you. You will laugh at the jokes and probably hurt your neck nodding at how right Chapo is (and how people "just don't get it"). If you are anything other than a fan, look elsewhere. Maybe listen to a few episodes of Chapo first,then come back to this.
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  • Rashid Yasin
    January 1, 1970
    Chapo is dumb and gross and I am somewhat ashamed to be a listener and reader. However, it's also an important part of "The Discourse" and in between the irony and masturbation jokes there's a really incisive critique of neoliberalism, the current state of our politics/economy, American imperialism, and the view that a better future is actually possible.Contrary to the title, this is not a revolutionary book (neither in introducing new material or for calling for drastic social upheaval), and if Chapo is dumb and gross and I am somewhat ashamed to be a listener and reader. However, it's also an important part of "The Discourse" and in between the irony and masturbation jokes there's a really incisive critique of neoliberalism, the current state of our politics/economy, American imperialism, and the view that a better future is actually possible.Contrary to the title, this is not a revolutionary book (neither in introducing new material or for calling for drastic social upheaval), and if you're already a podcast listener mostly it's just more #Content to consume and feel happy about without really delving deeply into anything you haven't already picked up along the way. But that doesn't stop it from being good and making important points about why there is so much disillusionment and suffering in our modern society and why traditional liberal critiques of the system do not go deep enough to understanding the intrinsic problems of capitalism.I'm somewhat conflicted on the audience. As a fan, I enjoyed it. But even someone indocrinated into being too Online and having a pretty decent understanding of American politics, there were many references that went over my head and only the ironic description of a person/concept I didn't understand remained. Because of this over-the-top ironic style combined with a general gross humor, I don't know if I could in good faith recommend this to someone outside the particular cultural context of those who already enjoy the Chapo Trap House podcast. And as someone who listens to the podcast, I don't know if I learned anything or became more aware of anything from reading the book. Still, as a piece of light entertainment I had a great time reading and while maybe the revolution will neither be televised or published and sold on Amazon, at least we'll get some laughs out of it along the way. Critiques on its place in "society" aside, I can't give it any less than 4 stars because I had a good time reading it and it aligns with my politics - what more can you really ask for from a comedy book?
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  • Dale
    January 1, 1970
    Caveat One: I understand the mixed sentiment re: Chapo among the Serious Left. The goofs don’t always land (both in the book and on their popular podcast), and the dick-joke-to-praxis ratio is an understandable turn-off to some. And these barriers to entry are merely table stakes for the real game of internecine leftist skirmishes that are as old as the hills. So let’s set all that aside for now. Caveat Two: As a pure text, I’m probably overrating this, but if you are looking for objective analy Caveat One: I understand the mixed sentiment re: Chapo among the Serious Left. The goofs don’t always land (both in the book and on their popular podcast), and the dick-joke-to-praxis ratio is an understandable turn-off to some. And these barriers to entry are merely table stakes for the real game of internecine leftist skirmishes that are as old as the hills. So let’s set all that aside for now. Caveat Two: As a pure text, I’m probably overrating this, but if you are looking for objective analysis from me, something has gone horribly wrong in your life.This book is a cogent and accessible left primer for the at-risk group of irony-poisoned forum washouts and failed Twitch streamers. I think that is a net good. The narrative history and psychographic profile bits are proper and mostly funny (if this book is responsible for mainstreaming the term “bow-tie dipshit,” it will all be worth it). The Dry Boys really hit their stride (both in the book and on their popular podcast) when taking on the blogosphere-turned-pundit commentariat class of ghouls and sycophants to power. This is a deserved and necessary critique that has everything to do with how we “consume” information in the contemporary media hellscape. So, shouts out.And so what if it’s not Althusser or Debord? It’s pointing extremely-online dumbasses (an identity group with whom I have a distinct affinity) in their direction. And it’s pretty dang funny, imo.
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  • Ethan Rosenberg
    January 1, 1970
    I came to the book having already been a fan of the podcast (I started listening around March 2017), and I would say that if you’ve heard the show before and it turned you off, the book is probably not going to change that (especially not the - in my opinion - very disjointed first chapter on foreign policy where every sentence reads like it was written by a different person but more realistically by just Felix Biederman). That said, while the book doesn’t necessarily pose a series of solutions I came to the book having already been a fan of the podcast (I started listening around March 2017), and I would say that if you’ve heard the show before and it turned you off, the book is probably not going to change that (especially not the - in my opinion - very disjointed first chapter on foreign policy where every sentence reads like it was written by a different person but more realistically by just Felix Biederman). That said, while the book doesn’t necessarily pose a series of solutions to our nightmarish political reality (which is I think is ultimately for the best considering it’s authored by five dudes), it does a very good job at articulating the ills we deal with on a day to day basis and how we got here in the first place (the segment on the how the Obama administration squandered its immense political capital between his inauguration and the 2010 midterms is a high point). It is also pretty funny and a quick read and the Eli Valley illustrations are worth the price of admission. Also the show is very good and you should listen to that too.
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  • John Selickman
    January 1, 1970
    I genuinely enjoyed reading this book, found parts of it to be incredibly well-written, and laughed out loud more than a few times. That being said, I’m not really sure who the intended audience is here outside of those already listening to the podcast. The Chapo crew covers a lot of information in a comparatively small amount of print, leaving little room to substantiate almost any of their points. As a result, it has the kind of “trust me, I know what I’m talking about” feel that would make it I genuinely enjoyed reading this book, found parts of it to be incredibly well-written, and laughed out loud more than a few times. That being said, I’m not really sure who the intended audience is here outside of those already listening to the podcast. The Chapo crew covers a lot of information in a comparatively small amount of print, leaving little room to substantiate almost any of their points. As a result, it has the kind of “trust me, I know what I’m talking about” feel that would make it almost impossible for anyone who isn’t already a leftist or fan of the show to not be dismissive of (the brief source list at the end in no way cuts it)If even half the ink that was spent on inside jokes/comic relief was allocated towards laying out and citing their points more cogently, this book would be a lot stronger while losing none of what makes it so enjoyable.
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  • Orestes
    January 1, 1970
    Funny, informative and just the kind of book to get your feet wet with contemporary american politics if you're just getting started. Capitalism sucks and the book will tell you how and why that is the case. We will need to end capitalism if we are to have any prospects of organized human life beyond the next century. The humor laced into every page helps with the depressing reality it is laying out before you, which is good because reading Chomsky books while extremely eye opening and informati Funny, informative and just the kind of book to get your feet wet with contemporary american politics if you're just getting started. Capitalism sucks and the book will tell you how and why that is the case. We will need to end capitalism if we are to have any prospects of organized human life beyond the next century. The humor laced into every page helps with the depressing reality it is laying out before you, which is good because reading Chomsky books while extremely eye opening and informative, can also be a major bummer if you don't constantly remind yourself that being depressed leads to burn out which leads to perpetuation of the status quo....so don't get sad, buck up and get out there and change the fucking world you lazy piece of shit. If I may borrow the tone of the book for a second to last sentence.
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  • Gary Spagnoli
    January 1, 1970
    Worth reading if you're sick of the absurdity of our modern political climate. I cant recommend this if you're looking for a political solution, or if you seek any happy feelings. It's soul-crushingly funny with it's acknowledgement of our political hopelessness (the glimmer of hope in the final pages were probably the least satisfying words for me). The chapter on Media was my favorite - passages ripping Andrew Sullivan's turn, Ezra Klein / Vox.com weakness and McMegan's stupidity stood out. I Worth reading if you're sick of the absurdity of our modern political climate. I cant recommend this if you're looking for a political solution, or if you seek any happy feelings. It's soul-crushingly funny with it's acknowledgement of our political hopelessness (the glimmer of hope in the final pages were probably the least satisfying words for me). The chapter on Media was my favorite - passages ripping Andrew Sullivan's turn, Ezra Klein / Vox.com weakness and McMegan's stupidity stood out. I was laughing out loud at some of the passages they quote. If I could tag myself, I would be the Citizen Kek.And the subreddit is still better than the podcast.
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  • Paige Newman
    January 1, 1970
    This book is funny and whip-smart and the product of one of my favorite left-left-left political comedy podcasts. There is just something so heartening about the realization that the generations coming after yours are going to do it better than you did. At least in my case, they know things that I didn't at their age. They've got something to teach and if you really take it in and open your mind, you can find hope in this bleak world. Which is not to say this book is to be taken totally seriousl This book is funny and whip-smart and the product of one of my favorite left-left-left political comedy podcasts. There is just something so heartening about the realization that the generations coming after yours are going to do it better than you did. At least in my case, they know things that I didn't at their age. They've got something to teach and if you really take it in and open your mind, you can find hope in this bleak world. Which is not to say this book is to be taken totally seriously, and the weak spot is the Culture chapter (maybe that's my love of Faulkner shining through). But it's a really nice mix of satire and intelligence.
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