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“Howard Zinn on acid or some bullsh*t like that.” —Tim Heidecker The 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 manife “Howard Zinn on acid or some bullsh*t like that.” —Tim Heidecker The 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...


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“Howard Zinn on acid or some bullsh*t like that.” —Tim Heidecker The 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 manife “Howard Zinn on acid or some bullsh*t like that.” —Tim Heidecker The 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...

30 review for The Chapo Guide to Revolution: A Manifesto Against Logic, Facts, and Reason

  1. 5 out of 5

    Rob

    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.

  2. 5 out of 5

    C. Varn

    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 as 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.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Chris Molnar

    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.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Donald

    I reviewed this book for Harper's Magazine. https://harpers.org/blog/2018/08/chap... I reviewed this book for Harper's Magazine. https://harpers.org/blog/2018/08/chap...

  5. 5 out of 5

    James

    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.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kevin

    The book title is misleading. It should be: Guide to 21st Century American Capitalist Reality, by bros who cite Howard “Big Dick” Zinn. The Ri-dick-ulous Expected: --I’ve heard friends talk about these guys’ podcast, Chapo Trap House, so I knew the style and content to expect. --This book provides several steps to make the case for the Left: 1) Know your world history, i.e. political economy. 2) Know your Liberals/reformists, and why they are not Left/radical/transformative change (from Liberalism’ The book title is misleading. It should be: Guide to 21st Century American Capitalist Reality, by bros who cite Howard “Big Dick” Zinn. The Ri-dick-ulous Expected: --I’ve heard friends talk about these guys’ podcast, Chapo Trap House, so I knew the style and content to expect. --This book provides several steps to make the case for the Left: 1) Know your world history, i.e. political economy. 2) Know your Liberals/reformists, and why they are not Left/radical/transformative change (from Liberalism’s litany of compromises to America’s Military Keynesianism) 3) Know your Propaganda Model of the Mass Media (on acid) 4) Know Wage Labor (i.e. why work sucks for most people and why it doesn’t have to be this way) --All in all, plenty of centrist liberal illusions are dispelled in a manner that a certain crowd would find most enjoyable. Spread the word in as many ways possible. The Missing: --Besides a bit at the end on post-capitalist automation to free people from bullshit jobs (i.e. Fully Automated Luxury Communism), this book is missing out on many Left/moving-Left proposals: worker co-ops owned-and-operated, public banking, UBI, Green New Deal (paired with public ownership), open borders, international solidarity, demilitarization, etc. etc. --Honestly, we in the West are inundated with enough American mass culture, so the chapter on (American) culture and the overall American references became exhausting. So much to catch up on with regards to the global south, especially the denigration of real-world socialism (and soft-peddling imperialism, like AOC/Bernie on Venezuela) despite overwhelming Western terror: -https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list... -The Darker Nations: A People's History of the Third World -The Poorer Nations: A Possible History of the Global South -The Management of Savagery: How America's National Security State Fueled the Rise of Al Qaeda, ISIS, and Donald Trump -Late Victorian Holocausts: El Niño Famines and the Making of the Third World -Perilous Passage: Mankind and the Global Ascendancy of Capital --Side note on podcasts: the Chapo demographics could touch on Joe Rogan’s podcast demographics in a hypothetical dimension of crude humor and no reality. However, once you introduce a dose of reality, you realize Rogan’s freedom-of-speech-with-adolescent-awareness-in-the-American-circus leads him down the cesspool of useful idiots (Ben Shapiro/Sam Harris/Jordan Peterson) for politics far more often than anyone credible (Abby Martin/Jimmy Dore). Living in an empire and making a living in entertainment certainly do not help Rogan comprehend how the world works and his role providing a platform to Western consumers. His confusion can be summed up by his past support for Ron Paul, who pairs actual critique of American foreign policy with free market sham economics.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Matt Brady

    buy the book

  8. 5 out of 5

    Steffi

    "The Chapo Guide to Revolution: A Manifesto Against Logic, Facts, and Reason" (2018) probably the stupidest book ever written on socialism but also the funniest. I am not going to 'review', lol, just recommend. If you don't like the podcast then you'll probably not like book (but then you're also just a very horrible person with a very, very sad sense of humour). "The Chapo Guide to Revolution: A Manifesto Against Logic, Facts, and Reason" (2018) probably the stupidest book ever written on socialism but also the funniest. I am not going to 'review', lol, just recommend. If you don't like the podcast then you'll probably not like book (but then you're also just a very horrible person with a very, very sad sense of humour).

  9. 5 out of 5

    Aaron Arnold

    If you've listened to any of the podcast, you know exactly what to expect from the book: jokes, bile, leftism. Not all of it works, but of course you probably wouldn't be voluntarily reading this unless you were actually a fan of their acidic radicalism. But even a Democrat like me who's only listened to a few episodes would agree that much of their criticism of mainstream liberalism is inarguably correct: the Democratic Party sucks, no question. The show punches well above its weight class in t If you've listened to any of the podcast, you know exactly what to expect from the book: jokes, bile, leftism. Not all of it works, but of course you probably wouldn't be voluntarily reading this unless you were actually a fan of their acidic radicalism. But even a Democrat like me who's only listened to a few episodes would agree that much of their criticism of mainstream liberalism is inarguably correct: the Democratic Party sucks, no question. The show punches well above its weight class in terms of the leftist zeitgeist (although to be fair when it comes to podcasts this is not as hard as it seems), and so it's an important window into how our discussion of politics is evolving, in a particular segment of the electorate that is tired of the crimes of mainstream parties and media, sick of endless compromise, but struggling for coherent solutions and suspicious of the same folks who brought us the original problems to begin with. Even though you'll look in vain to find any real prescriptions here - "why are you expecting serious political advice from a group of leftist comedy podcasters?" is the obvious question - this kind of perspective from outside the political system is essential in order to have an honest, moral debate about politics within the system. Plus, the Onion/Something Awful-ripoff jokes are still usually funny. This book is fine, read it if you like the show. But I want to spend some time talking about the Iraq War, because both the book and the show would be incomprehensible without first understanding the long shadow cast by that moral failure. The Iraq War is why I'll never vote Republican, why I didn't vote for Hillary Clinton in 2008, and why many still couldn't vote for her in 2016. At age 34 I don't think I'm alone in my thinking, and even younger progressives have to grapple with the fallout of many prominent Democrats failing that moral test and giving in to the Republican urge to war. If you're a liberal, what do you do with the inescapable knowledge that many of the politicians and pundits that define your party and your ideology voted to support the completely unnecessary deaths of hundreds of thousands? The cowardice of Clinton, Kerry, and so many others has come to define liberalism for leftists, offering a crystal-clear example of the ethical bankruptcy of compromise-first liberalism, and it presents a real problem for anyone interested in a system of politics that can beat the hate/fear/greed of the right. The contempt that Chapo has for mainstream Democrats is amply deserved, and I won't make excuses for those Democrats who voted for that stupid, senseless, evil war. But, as I read the many long sections of the book making fun of the Diet Evil tendencies of liberalism, recognizing that the Iraq War vote was the prism through which all of liberalism was being viewed, I realized that it's important to understand the structural reasons that encouraged Clinton etc. to make such an obviously dumb vote, since this sort of thing happens again and again in all sorts of contexts. Exactly why did all of these people, routinely pilloried by their enemies as far-left extremists, supinely acquiesce to these transparent lies and indeed actively defend them, to the bafflement of actual far-leftists? The historian Adam Tooze once laid out a fascinating explanation for why the German Social Democratic Party decided to support funding for World War 1 (bear with me here, it's the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day and it's on my mind), and though the phrase "It's time for some game theory" is beyond parody at this point, adapting the 2 x 2 decision matrix in Tooze's lecture 14 of his WW1 series to the Iraq War is surprisingly revealing. On the show Chapo correctly pays a lot of attention to the media because media perception is often reality (indeed, they fulfill the role of the media themselves for their listeners in the same way as the much-reviled Daily Show did), and the credulous, self-important, and hawkish press, deciding that it truly represented "public opinion", played an important role in shaping incentives for the Iraq War: - If Democrats vote Yes and the Iraq War is a success: Democrats are on the winning side and hopefully seen as strong, righteous, and loyal supporters of victory in the War on Terror; surely Republicans will never attack our patriotism again! - If Democrats vote Yes and the Iraq War is a failure: This is kind of what Democrats like Kerry were actually saying afterwards in 2004, like "you didn't send enough body armor, or bomb the right targets, or pay enough attention to Afghanistan", in the hopes that voters would prefer slightly more competent warmongers. - If Democrats vote No and the Iraq War is a success: Democrats would look unpatriotic to the Beltway press, the ultimate horror. Plus, even though winning the Gulf War obviously didn't re-elect George HW Bush, theoretically the American people love winners, and so not being a loser is all that matters. - If Democrats vote No and the Iraq War is a failure: Hey, don't blame me! Without their fingerprints on it, Democrats look like geniuses, even though according to the popular press only hippies were against the war, and can you really trust someone who isn't willing or even eager to slaughter foreigners? So from the perspective of prominent Democrats like Clinton or Kerry, petrified of being accused of being insufficiently willing to bomb foreigners, voting No offered only political downside, while voting Yes would, at the very least, claim you would have bombed foreigners better in some hopefully unspecified way, thus allowing you to be dubbed Serious by the people who mattered (i.e., not the foreigners in question). Setting aside the genuinely enthusiastic Democrats, who are thankfully now almost entirely gone, pure political self-preservation was the rule for the remainder. This calculus of cowardice applies to many situations throughout our history, but the poor SPD does look somewhat better in the historical rear-view mirror: Germany was not actually the bad guy in WW1; defeat in that war would have been, and actually was, far worse for Germany than the US just wasting trillions in Iraq; and by participation in the "patriotic truce" of Burgfriedenspolitik the SPD hoped to gain some much-needed political reforms as opposed to the nothing that Democrats got in exchange for their votes. I completely sympathize with anyone who won't forgive Democrats. Sometimes politicians fuck up, and people die, and no rebrands or glitzy ad campaigns can erase those dead people, and the knowledge that elected politicians are actually afraid of what some circle-jerking idiot news dispensers decide is consensus should give you incandescent rage. I think that's a worthwhile exercise to go through, because, for all Chapo's completely valid criticisms of mainstream liberalism, like many leftists their response to these hard truths about American politics head-on is essentially limited to jokes. Yeah, a huge percentage of the population is simply awful, the press is not anyone's friend, the system is rigged, the support of elites is usually all that really matters, we're surrounded by freaks and mutants. All of that is true, and yet a turn to irony socialism and podcast radicalism would not actually avoid any of those obstacles or address any of those problems. Take the press, for example, and how bizarre it is that so many idiots are paid to pontificate on politics at all while wielding enormous power to destroy careers, gatekeep out new voices, and set the agenda. Gary Hart's 1988 Presidential bid was destroyed in a media frenzy over a picture that is laughably tame by today's standards. Howard Dean yelled funny in 2004 and that was it; Kucinich couldn't even get off the ground. Hillary's emails. Donald Trump can barely complete a sentence and he's shown rambling and openly lying for hours at a time, the press eagerly rolling over for it, countless gigantic scandals immediately forgotten, but simultaneously there's no such thing as too much sneering at liberals, and leftists might as well be in a different galaxy. The Cillizzas of the world make doing the right thing very hard, and as satisfying as it is to imagine all of those people in gulags, it's just not going to happen, so how do you work within that awful system? It's like Keynes' famously brilliant "Trotsky On England" book review, and what makes Robert Caro's works so fascinating. I'm writing this just after the 2018 midterms, which gives both liberals and leftists ambiguous takeaways. Some left-wing candidates did better than centrists, but others did worse. Many states voted for very progressive policies, while simultaneously electing awful reactionaries in landslides. Important media outlets continued to be worthless, because for them it's all a game, and it doesn't really matter who won. What should non-Republicans learn from this election? This is a book of jokes ("Sir, this is an Arby's drive-thru"), but Chapo can't provide a satisfying answer of how they or DSA or anyone else who wants to work around the shambling hulk of the Democratic Party and our rotten electoral system would be able to do better systematically, to avoid the incredibly powerful incentives for good people to do bad things, to have 2018 look like 2006 in another 12 years (remember when the prospect of Speaker Pelosi portended unspeakable Jacobin horrors to come?). It's immensely frustrating that socialism, of all possible ideologies, seems to have all the moral energy behind it, given what a dead end that is, but perhaps encouraging socialists to participate in the Democratic Party is the only way to keep it grounded. Compromise is not a principle, as they so ably point out, and Robert Frost's line about how "A liberal is a man who won't stand up for his own side of the argument" means that sometimes a party drunk on appeasement needs a sober friend to take the keys away. It would be truly depressing if this was the best political system we could possibly hope for, but since we're stuck with it for now, we might as well laugh along the way.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Dale

    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.

  11. 5 out of 5

    T

    Recommended for people who like politics as much as they like Kanye West shitposting

  12. 5 out of 5

    Ed Erwin

    This is not actually a "Guide to Revolution". It is also not a "Manifesto". Nor is it arguing against "Logic, Facts and Reason". So... perfect title, then! What it is is a rant about all the things wrong with America in the present "late-stage Capitalism". Unusual for a rant, it is not just some old man yelling at clouds; it is five men yelling together! They have plenty of complaints about Conservatives AND Liberals AND Neo-Liberals AND Libertarians. Much of their criticism is justified. But it i This is not actually a "Guide to Revolution". It is also not a "Manifesto". Nor is it arguing against "Logic, Facts and Reason". So... perfect title, then! What it is is a rant about all the things wrong with America in the present "late-stage Capitalism". Unusual for a rant, it is not just some old man yelling at clouds; it is five men yelling together! They have plenty of complaints about Conservatives AND Liberals AND Neo-Liberals AND Libertarians. Much of their criticism is justified. But it is easy to criticize. What they don't do is recommended any solutions. (Maybe they do on their podcast, which I've never heard, but not here.) I did enjoy it, and I honestly did LOL multiple times. The ending sections on media, culture, and work are less useful than the earlier sections on politics. I find it funny that several reviews here say "Buy this book" when the introductory chapter is titled "Borrow this book".

  13. 5 out of 5

    Justin Conder

    This blistering lefty comedy podcast did not make the move to book form gracefully. The same off-the-cuff scathing remarks and furious broadsides that generally work within the banter of the show come off as self-indulgent and irritating here. The medium isn't right, but it also exposes an overall lack of depth that was always there. Even when they poke at people, trends, and institutions that deserve strong criticism, one gets the urge to introduce more nuance into the Chapo Grotesquerie. (Exce This blistering lefty comedy podcast did not make the move to book form gracefully. The same off-the-cuff scathing remarks and furious broadsides that generally work within the banter of the show come off as self-indulgent and irritating here. The medium isn't right, but it also exposes an overall lack of depth that was always there. Even when they poke at people, trends, and institutions that deserve strong criticism, one gets the urge to introduce more nuance into the Chapo Grotesquerie. (Except for their undying revulsion for Henry Kissinger. They can rake him over the coals until the cows come home.) The... limitations... with the "Chapo Way" fully manifest themselves here, as the authors teeter between deadly earnest and hyperbolic humor. The trouble is, this is a mirror image of the 4chan right wing edgelords they purport to loathe. The pattern is: "Are we joking or serious? If you cannot intuit which, well, you are the joke." Later: "Oh, also we were 100% serious." And though their contempt for the right wing is truly bottomless, they seem to always reserve special disdain for "aggressive normies" and the "libs." They despise the "snarksistance" and every page drips with venom for the "Aaron Sorkin speech" sacharrine view of politics. The dirtbag left treatment, spread over a 320 page book, leaves a disorienting, scorching heat trail somehow devoid of illumination. It's People's History of the United States directed by David Lynch. Oliver Traldi (whose writing normally makes me roll my eyes) wrote an incisive two book review, which was a downright unnerving comparison of the Chapo Trap House phenomenon with the Jordan Peterson phenomenon. Both are offering apparent solutions to real problems people have. Both are asserted with an air of authority that is appealing to those who are "lost" and alienated, homeless and bewildered. There is a common theme of a disdain for "weakness" and appreciation for confidence (but a confidence which winds up often taking the form of caustic belligerence). If that comparison sounds like a stretch to you, given that they seem to be on opposing ends of the political spectrum, it did to me as well. Then I read the article. And it strikes at something far more troubling and consequential than any mischievous podcasters could be responsible for, and which is beyond the scope of this short review: https://americanaffairsjournal.org/20... Maybe give a listen to the podcast: it may appeal to you, you may hate it. Godspeed in either case. But you can ignore the book entirely. And you can definitely ignore the siren song promises that dark mockery and borderline misanthropy will triumph over all that ails us. Creating over-the-top political bestiaries offers some solid chuckles, but little in the way of helping anyone address the real, flesh-and-blood human counterparts, or any monstrous ideas sustained by them.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Beth

    I was introduced to the Chapo Trap House* podcast by--and you'll likely not be surprised to hear this when I tell you I'm Gen X--a friend who's over 20 years younger than me. Since then I've enjoyed listening to their socialist comedy every week, although, of course, I don't understand all of it... especially when they're talking about movies, TV, music, or the internet, none of which I'm particularly up to date on. *I still kind of hate this podcast's name. But maybe that's just because Google d I was introduced to the Chapo Trap House* podcast by--and you'll likely not be surprised to hear this when I tell you I'm Gen X--a friend who's over 20 years younger than me. Since then I've enjoyed listening to their socialist comedy every week, although, of course, I don't understand all of it... especially when they're talking about movies, TV, music, or the internet, none of which I'm particularly up to date on. *I still kind of hate this podcast's name. But maybe that's just because Google decided that my interest in this podcast also meant I was interested in a particular drug lord, and pushed news articles about him at me until I told it to stop. That said, I'm impressed by how intelligent and well-informed they all are, and their comedy is consistently funny and always punches up. As time goes on, I'm convinced they're right that capitalism cannot be fixed and our current hellworld of obscene wealth on one side, and soul-killing gig employment on the other, can't persist for long. And they're also right that focused political action is our only hope of progress--incredibly, signal-boosting posts and tweets that we agree with, on websites run by dudes sitting on the high end of nine figures, isn't working... The book's structured in chapters loosely organized by subject, i.e. "libs" or "the media," and the guys (there is one woman on the podcast, but she isn't in this book) riff on each topic for about an hour in subtopic sections that last a minute or two. It's fun and easy to listen to. As one would expect, it doesn't have the exact same manic stream of consciousness that the podcast often does--I especially miss Matt's rants, and Will's constantly sounding like he's going to bust into giggles any second--but it absolutely has the same basic feel and political slant. I thought this book was great, especially in audio with its occasional additional music and foley. However, I couldn't recommend it unless you're already a fan of CTH, or unless statements like "Democrat politicians transferred their loyalties from labor to capital decades ago" or words like "failson" make any sense to you.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Ben

    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.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jolene

    This is exactly what you'd expect. Hilarious, smart, cynical, and ultimately hopeful. Update: This book, as funny as it is, is so dense and so flush with irony that I decided to relisten to it to see if I got more out of it the second time. The chapter on the "libs" is very useful, especially in its descriptions of Clinton and Obama's presidencies. The chapter about the soul-sucking nature of work is also very enlightening for people who want an easy-to-understand explanation for why capitalism i This is exactly what you'd expect. Hilarious, smart, cynical, and ultimately hopeful. Update: This book, as funny as it is, is so dense and so flush with irony that I decided to relisten to it to see if I got more out of it the second time. The chapter on the "libs" is very useful, especially in its descriptions of Clinton and Obama's presidencies. The chapter about the soul-sucking nature of work is also very enlightening for people who want an easy-to-understand explanation for why capitalism is a harmful system. Another highlight of the audiobook is Matt's Ginsberg-esque rant/poem about the modern conservative mindset. ARE YOU TRIGGERED? ARE YOU TRIGGERED? ARE YOU TRIGGERED? ARE YOU TRIGGERED? ARE YOU TRIGGERED?

  17. 4 out of 5

    Mikołaj Niedorezo

    buy the book.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

    As a long episode of the podcast it's probably a 4/5 but as a book I'd say it's a 3. Wouldn't recommend for anyone not already into the other stuff Chapo does. If you're into the podcast check out the audiobook version, I'd say the print version would suffer from not having the narration of the hosts. As a long episode of the podcast it's probably a 4/5 but as a book I'd say it's a 3. Wouldn't recommend for anyone not already into the other stuff Chapo does. If you're into the podcast check out the audiobook version, I'd say the print version would suffer from not having the narration of the hosts.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Todd N

    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.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Peacegal

    Chapo Trap House is a podcast my husband follows; otherwise I doubt I’d be aware of it. Chapo appeals to the everyday person who has been left behind by both the Republican and Democratic parties…as the right-wing gets more extreme and insane, the left just keeps capitulating. It’s not hard to figure out why this is…they use the words of cooperation and compromise, but Democrats get nice kick-backs from the corporate donors just as the Republicans do, and they don’t want to lose that cozy existe Chapo Trap House is a podcast my husband follows; otherwise I doubt I’d be aware of it. Chapo appeals to the everyday person who has been left behind by both the Republican and Democratic parties…as the right-wing gets more extreme and insane, the left just keeps capitulating. It’s not hard to figure out why this is…they use the words of cooperation and compromise, but Democrats get nice kick-backs from the corporate donors just as the Republicans do, and they don’t want to lose that cozy existence. The result is rule by Big Everything and the citizens’ interests and very survival gets steamrolled. The book serves its medicine with a heaping spoonful of sugar; this is first and foremost a political comedy book. There are even wildly detailed illustrations of various political wonks. Something that I appreciated a great deal is Chapo’s sense of history. They’re young, yet they can make historical pop-culture and political references with the best of them. Frankly, that wasn’t something I was expecting. The authors recognize that climate change is the most far-reaching, pressing issue of our time. Once again, we have the fault of climate change being laid at the feet of the fossil-fuel industry…which is justifiable, as industry is the top contributor of greenhouse gases. However, there is not a word from these radical, paradigm-shifting activists regarding diet’s role in global warming---something the average reader is going to have far more control over than the machinations of the titans of industry. Animal agriculture is the second leading contributor to greenhouse gases around the globe, yet not a single peep about that, aside from a sarcastic aside about hippies and vegetarianism. If our most outspoken changemakers aren’t willing to talk about the easiest way for individuals slow climate change, what hope do we have? The most insightful section of the book had to do with the way in which so many of our progressive populace has responded to Trump and all of the awful things he does: by hiding in their shells like media-saturated snails and pretending their consumption of pop culture is a political act. Sure, I like things like “The Handmaid’s Tale” series too, but watching TV should never be mistaken for an act of resistance that helps actual people. Unfortunately, that’s just what a lot of liberals are doing these days. There’s no shame in enjoying what the world of entertainment has to offer, but please let’s not ensconce ourselves in our late-night hosts, graphic novels, and “orange Cheeto” memes while the world goes to hell in real time.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Ben Lewis

    Rough stuff. Felt like the kind of book you get someone on sale on as a last minute gift , but feel guilty about it afterwards because you know they will know you rushed and this was under 10 bucks at Target or wherever you bought the card.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Bill

    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.

  23. 4 out of 5

    David Dayen

    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.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Koen Crolla

    Turns out woke fratire is still just fratire—the authors' presumed moral superiority doesn't actually manifest itself in blunting any of the genre's worst aspects. There is some actual information here, but it's buried under such a huge mountain of exhausting bullshit that it's impossible to separate out unless you're already familiar with it. No matter—nothing is ultimately done with it: the book spends all its time sneering about Democrats and Republicans, and then in the end—literally in the p Turns out woke fratire is still just fratire—the authors' presumed moral superiority doesn't actually manifest itself in blunting any of the genre's worst aspects. There is some actual information here, but it's buried under such a huge mountain of exhausting bullshit that it's impossible to separate out unless you're already familiar with it. No matter—nothing is ultimately done with it: the book spends all its time sneering about Democrats and Republicans, and then in the end—literally in the penultimate paragraph of the epilogue—just goes ``uh, therefore socialism'' without even explaining what that means to the authors, much less coming within ten miles of offering any concrete plan of action. Irony poisoning kills.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Scottsdale Public Library

    The Chapo Guide to Revolution is a zany political manifesto from the hosts of the podcast Chapo Trap House. The book, which comedian Tim Heidecker has described as “Howard Zinn on acid,” combines the sweeping scope of A People’s History of the United States with the snark of an Onion article. Examining important political figures and events in US history, the authors provide a nuanced historical analysis full of ironic asides and silly pop culture references. The Chapo Guide to Revolution is an The Chapo Guide to Revolution is a zany political manifesto from the hosts of the podcast Chapo Trap House. The book, which comedian Tim Heidecker has described as “Howard Zinn on acid,” combines the sweeping scope of A People’s History of the United States with the snark of an Onion article. Examining important political figures and events in US history, the authors provide a nuanced historical analysis full of ironic asides and silly pop culture references. The Chapo Guide to Revolution is an attack on political elitism and an oddball mission statement from the so-called “Dirtbag Left.” For anyone hoping to look beyond the stale dichotomy of party politics, don’t hesitate to pick up this book. – Anthony C.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Killian

    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. 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.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Mat

    Basically what you’d get if Dave Barry got radicalized.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Dániel

    what I expected: entry-level introduction to leftist theory what I got: memes

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kyle Minton

    I have a theory about the popularity of podcasts. So much of our lives revolve around work; getting to work, spending our days in an office doing data-driven tasks, driving home from work, spending the evening in a depressing state of exhaustion. This limits our options for entertainment, whatever we consume has to be hands-free so we can drive or type (which eliminates books or video games) and it can't require our visual attention because we need to, at least appear to be, focused on work (eli I have a theory about the popularity of podcasts. So much of our lives revolve around work; getting to work, spending our days in an office doing data-driven tasks, driving home from work, spending the evening in a depressing state of exhaustion. This limits our options for entertainment, whatever we consume has to be hands-free so we can drive or type (which eliminates books or video games) and it can't require our visual attention because we need to, at least appear to be, focused on work (eliminating television or movies). You could listen to audiobooks, but a lot of times these can be dense and sometimes you miss essential sections as your focus drifts in and out of your tasks. Music might seem like an obvious choice, but to me, music is more like coffee; it might make it easier to focus on a task and even make that task more enjoyable, it's not the same as entertainment. Podcasts are handsfree, don't require any visual attention, easy to drift in and out of, extremely accessible, and are very entertaining. This is less of an endorsement of podcasts than it is a realization of the unfortunate reality that working lives are increasingly unfulfilling. We spend most of it making money for other people and entertain ourselves by listening to stories and interviews with people leading far more interesting lives. This is cynical thinking, but then again my favorite podcast encourages this level of awareness about the mundane. Chapo Trap House is a Brooklyn based podcast that spins comedy, leftist politics, and obscure cultural references into what could be the most relevant conversation being had*. What sets them apart? They're political without managing to suffer from partisan inconsistencies, their humor punches almost exclusively up without the suggested gentleness of doing so, and their references have a range from the academic or literary to 90s drudgery. Chapo Trap House, with their fresh perspectives and timely commentary on the material condition of people's lives, helped drive a lot of my worldview leftward. When I saw they had a book coming out I was excited. Since a lot of my interaction with their podcast has been while at work, I thought a book would allow me to engage more thoroughly with their ideas. The Chapo Guide to Revolution reads like a lot of leftist/Marxist books I've been reading lately. It takes aim at the shortcomings of liberalism and the garishness of conservativism. The key difference is that the Chapo Guide to Revolution is funny and way more accessible. It's written for the terminally online person, the disaffected college student at a state school, and workers entombed in their cubicles. Chapo Traphouse is reaching out to groups of middle Americans who feel ignored by a system who views them as nothing but a block of buying power to market to. What's more important is that they do so effectively. Academics, critics, or theory jockeys could make a field day out of their complaints. Many have already pointed out that the ideas are oversimplified, the history is onesided, and many concepts are assumed true. None of this fucking matters though, because the Chapo Guide to Revolution isn't speaking to critics or academics or theory jockeys, nor is it speaking their language. Those of us in the crushed middle class have been saddled with student debt and fed lies about buying products or apps that will make our lives better are currently looking to fill a void, even if we don't know it. Alt-right voices are extremely good at filling this void because they're speaking to it in a way that the status quo defending voices cannot by definition. We need more left-wing voices that can do the same thing. * Let's get this out of the way. When I say relevant conversation I mean for people like me, which I happen to know is a group that subsists of...a lot of people. Working/ middle-class white people aged 23 - 40 who work white collar professional, service, or office jobs. Which isn't to say that the conversation can't apply to a number of other people, I just don't want to make it appear that it absolutely does. For the record though, it absolutely applies to people like me

  30. 4 out of 5

    John Mihelic

    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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