Sh*tshow!: The Country's Collapsing . . . and the Ratings Are Great (Hardcover)

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“Sh*tShow! The Country is Collapsing…and the Ratings Are Great” by Charlie LeDuff is a dark and desperate descent into the death of the American Dream as we know it. Gonzo-journalism at its grittiest, LeDuff’s cross examination of a country in crisis is compelling, compassionate and completely horrifying. From Fox News to the Flint Water Crisis to Ferguson, LeDuff documents the daily struggles of the defeated, depressed and downright despicable amidst an American government immersed in populism, plutocracy and authoritarianism. Whether you agree on fake news or not, this book is f*#king frightening!

— From Kristin

Charlie LeDuff has been at it again.  Back in 2013 he pitched Fox News a show that he believed the country need at this moment in time.   This began his research  and a journey across America to the oil fields of North Dakota where "work-your-butt-off-so-you-can-bring-just-enough-money-home-to-your-family-so-you-can-do-it-all-over-again," is the new American Dream.  We meet the Bundy family who are fighting for rights to land that they believe is theirs while the U.S. government charges them with illegally grazing their cattle on land that was not "legally grazable."  While the Bundy family may have at least had some kind of claim to their land, the Dann Clan wasn't so organized.  The U.S. government stopped the them from grazing their animals on land in Nevada based on an old treaty signed with the family.  Their rights were slowly revoked over two decades.

Charlie visits just about every walk of life you can find in middle to lower class America.  He stops in Ferguson, Missouri to talk to folks about what’s happening in their city and their police department.  He heads to his home state of Michigan to see first hand what the people of Flint are up against as they fill their cars with bottled water to hopefully keep their children from drinking contaminated tap water.  We can’t forget about our southern boarder either.  Charlie and crew try to understand why all the manufacturing jobs are going to Mexico, but we still have neighbors to the south that risk their lives to come to the United States of America.  Charlie might not have the answers, but he has the nerve to ask the questions that most journalists won’t, can’t, or have never even thought of.  He is a true American hero in every sense of the title.  He is a champion of all people from all races, classes, political parties, and socioeconomic backgrounds...well except maybe not the fat cats with too much money. After reading Sh*tshow, I walked away with a better understanding of my fellow Americans, especially the ones we don’t see on tv or in the news.

— From Alex


A daring, firsthand, and utterly-unscripted account of crisis in America, from Ferguson to Flint to Cliven Bundy's ranch to Donald Trump's unstoppable campaign for President--at every turn, Pulitzer-prize winner and bestselling author of Detroit: An American Autopsy, Charlie LeDuff was there

In the Fall of 2013, long before any sane person had seriously considered the possibility of a Trump presidency, Charlie LeDuff sat in the office of then-Fox News CEO Roger Ailes, and made a simple but prophetic claim: The whole country is bankrupt and on high boil. It’s a shitshow out there. No one in the bubbles of Washington, DC., New York, or Los Angles was talking about it--least of all the media. LeDuff wanted to go to the heart of the country to report what was really going on. Ailes baulked. Could the hard-living and straight-shooting LeDuff be controlled? But, then, perhaps on a whim, he agreed. And so LeDuff set out to record a TV series called, "The Americans," and, along the way, ended up bearing witness to the ever-quickening unraveling of The American Dream.

For three years, LeDuff travelled the width and breadth of the country with his team of production irregulars, ending up on the Mexican border crossing the Rio Grande on a yellow rubber kayak alongside undocumented immigrants; in the middle of Ferguson as the city burned; and watching the children of Flint get sick from undrinkable water. Racial, political, social, and economic tensions were escalating by the day. The inexorable effects of technological change and globalization were being felt more and more acutely, at the same time as wages stagnated and the price of housing, education, and healthcare went through the roof. The American people felt defeated and abandoned by their politicians, and those politicians seemed incapable of rising to the occasion. The old way of life was slipping away, replaced only by social media, part-time work, and opioid addiction.

Sh*tshow! is that true, tragic, and distinctively American story, told from the parts of the country hurting the most. A soul-baring, irreverent, and iconoclastic writer, LeDuff speaks the language of everyday Americans, and is unafraid of getting his hands dirty. He scrambles the tired-old political, social, and racial categories, taking no sides--or prisoners. Old-school, gonzo-style reporting, this is both a necessary confrontation with the darkest parts of the American psyche and a desperately-needed reminder of the country's best instincts.

About the Author

Charlie LeDuff is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, formerly at the New York Times and the Detroit News, and Detroit's Fox 2 News. The author of Detroit, US Guys, and Work and Other Sins, he lives near Detroit.

Praise For…

“Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist LeDuff delivers a crackling critique of American culture using vignettes from his years traveling across the country and talking to everyday Americans. . . . This timely portrait of America is a superb example of contemporary gonzo journalism.”—Publishers Weekly

Product Details
ISBN: 9780525522027
ISBN-10: 0525522026
Publisher: Penguin Press
Publication Date: May 22nd, 2018
Pages: 288
Language: English


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