So You've Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson

70%

28 Critic Reviews

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

Synopsis

Now a New York Times bestseller and from the author of The Psychopath Test, 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.




From the Hardcover edition.
 

About Jon Ronson

See more books from this Author
Jon Ronson’s works include The Amazing Adventures of Phoenix Jones, and Them: Adventures with Extremists and The Men Who Stare at Goats—both international bestsellers. The Men Who Stare at Goats was as a major motion picture, released in 2009 and starring George Clooney. Ronson lives in London.
 
Published March 31, 2015 by Riverhead Books. 306 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, History, Political & Social Sciences, Self Help, Parenting & Relationships, Professional & Technical, Computers & Technology, Humor & Entertainment, Science & Math, Law & Philosophy. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Peak Rank on Apr 19 2015
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Weeks as Bestseller
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Critic reviews for So You've Been Publicly Shamed
All: 28 | Positive: 22 | Negative: 6

Kirkus

Good
on Jan 19 2015

Another intriguing journey from Ronson, who notes that our social media dark side grows ever darker when we believe we’re superior to others—and anonymous.

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Publishers Weekly

Good
on Jan 23 2015

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

Read Full Review of So You've Been Publicly Shamed | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

Publishers Weekly

Good
on Jan 23 2015

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

Read Full Review of So You've Been Publicly Shamed | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by Choire Sicha on Apr 17 2015

Ronson is always careful not to ­overly whittle his conclusions lest they snap under pressure. But he appears to have come to believe two things. One is that people are much kinder in the real world than they are on the Internet. The other is that online, we are “creating a world where the smartest way to survive is to be bland.”

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NY Times

Good
Reviewed by Janet Maslin on Mar 29 2015

But the choice of subject for “So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed” turns out to be 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.

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NPR

Above average
Reviewed by Eric Weiner on Apr 16 2015

Ronson reminds us that shaming is, by definition, a public phenomenon...True, nobody is physically harmed (usually) in an Internet flogging, but the damage to one's reputation can be more severe, and enduring...Ronson has written a fresh, big-hearted take on an important and timely topic. He has nothing to be ashamed of.

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Star Tribune

Good
Reviewed by Katy Read on Apr 11 2015

Personable and empathetic, Ronson is an entertaining guide to the odd corners of the shame-o-sphere. He tests theories about what triggers the phenomenon and how a target might cope emotionally.

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Star Tribune

Above average
Reviewed by Katy Read on Apr 09 2015

Personable and empathetic, Ronson is an entertaining guide to the odd corners of the shame-o-sphere.

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AV Club

Good
Reviewed by Katie Rife on Mar 30 2015

In the end, So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed is a Jon Ronson book like most other Jon Ronson books. 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.

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Toronto Star

Above average
Reviewed by Robert Wiersema on Apr 04 2015

It is in its exploration of the human motivations of shaming that So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed is at its best. Ronson aptly describes the momentum that shaming episodes take on...While So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed is a powerful and rewarding read, a book utterly of the moment, one may come away from it wishing Ronson had dug deeper.

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The Independent

Good
Reviewed by CHARLIE GILMOUR on Mar 14 2015

...it is a brilliantly articulated, sensitively rendered attempt to reform the world. With the internet we were given a blank canvas, and we ended up creating a society more vicious than ancient Greece and even less forgiving than an 18th century Presbyterian village.

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The Independent

Above average
Reviewed by Will Dean on Feb 19 2015

There are some happy endings in this immensely readable bit of pop sociology. It's certainly possible for an incident like Sacco's eventually to drift from Google's top results, but — mostly — the algorithm doesn't forget. So be careful next time you send that tweet.

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The Telegraph

Above average
Reviewed by Toby Clements on Mar 12 2015

Ronson’s amusing and thought-provoking investigation into the subject is sinuous...he takes a solid example of something – such as the popular science writer Jonah Lehrer who was exposed as a plagiarist (albeit of himself) and inventor of Bob Dylan quotes – and runs with it.

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The Boston Globe

Good
Reviewed by Jennifer Latson on Mar 31 2015

Ronson tells a powerful cautionary tale, aimed not at objectionable tweeters but at the Internet avengers who enforce frontier justice. The prevailing lesson here isn’t “Don’t make bad jokes online.” It’s “Let he who is without bad jokes cast the first stone.”

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Oregon Live

Good
Reviewed by John Strawn on Mar 25 2015

"So You've Been Publicly Shamed" is a well-reported, entertainingly written account of an important subject, which has reinforced the soundness of my decision never to use social media.

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Denver Post

Above average
Reviewed by John Broening on Apr 26 2015

Persuasively, Ronson compares the old-style public shamings: pilloring, whipping, executions, to the new-style: trolling, flaming and other forms of cyber-bullying.

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Slate

Below average
Reviewed by Jacob Silverman on Apr 06 2015

The conceptual mistake that Ronson makes here is one that dogs the book: He foregrounds his own epiphanic understanding over the pain of his subjects and the issues they stir up. It causes him to seem rather guileless.

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PopMatters

Good
Reviewed by George Russell on Mar 31 2015

With So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed Ronson has written a timely, interesting and titillating read for any Internet drama junkie. More importantly, he has shown that what we hear being amplified through the megaphone of social media is best taken with a large dose of skepticism.

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DNA

Good
Reviewed by Abhinav Agarwal on Apr 03 2015

What Ronson provides, at the end of the day, is a short, breezy look at a few aspects of shaming, with a little bit of history, a dash of personal anecdotes, some curative as well as palliative ruminations, and the trademark his wry humour.

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South China Morning Post

Below average
Reviewed by Pavan Shamdasani on Apr 25 2015

It's not that Ronson judges any of his controversial figures or situations; it's just that he is trying so hard to grow as an objective author, to find a middle ground where he's half-journalist, half-psychologist, that he ends up being neither.

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The Australian

Good
Reviewed by Gillian Terzis on Mar 07 2015

Pile-ons, perhaps because of their ferocity, are ripe for backlash. And in this sense, Jon Ronson’s latest book, So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed, seems impeccably timed.

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Esquire

Above average
Reviewed by Tom Junod on Mar 25 2015

...Jon Ronson has to function as their interlocutor and so is indispensable to this simultaneously lightweight and necessary book, a plea for civility that might be too civil for its own good.

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Scientific American

Above average
on Mar 17 2015

The resulting book adds up to an intriguing look into the psychology of public shaming and the technology that enables it.

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Business Insider

Above average
Reviewed by JOSHUA BARRIE on Mar 09 2015

What's great about the book is how it picks up the story of what happened to the people after the media attention disappeared.

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Women's Voices for Change

Above average
Reviewed by Cecilia M. Ford on Apr 16 2015

Ronson makes the point that we adults have been slow to catch on. He himself once heralded Twitter as a place where he could post his “honest” feelings and thoughts. He has since reconsidered.

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Willamette Week

Below average
Reviewed by MATTHEW KORFHAGE on Apr 08 2015

Shamed flits around from Radical Honesty proponents to identity management experts to Zumba prostitution rings with all the active intelligence of a trending keywords search. It’s a shame, really.

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Women 24

Good
Reviewed by Women24 on May 04 2015

So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed is fascinating, insightful and amusing and should be read by everyone, especially regular users of social media. It will make you think very carefully about what you post or share online but more importantly how you act towards others.

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http://www.apl.org

Good
Reviewed by Sara on May 18 2015

I highly recommend this fast, riveting read to anyone interested in the social psychology of social media as well as anyone already a Ronson fan.

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Reader Rating for So You've Been Publicly Shamed
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