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In Defense of Elitism: Why I'm Better Than You and You're Better Than Someone Who Didn't Buy This Book

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  88 ratings  ·  23 reviews
<b> <b>From Thurber finalist and former star TIME columnist Joel Stein comes a "</b></b><b><b>brilliant exploration" (Walter Isaacson) of America's political culture war and a hilarious call to arms for the elite.<br /><br /></b>"I can think of no one more suited to defend elitism than Stein, a funny man with hands as delicate as a baby full of soft-boiled eggs."--Jimmy Kimmel, host of <i>Jimmy Kimmel Live!<br /></i></b><br />The ...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published October 22nd 2019 by Grand Central Publishing
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Sep 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Twenty-nineteen America: some of the country wonders what the hell happened, and how the hell we got to this point. Others wonder what took so damn long. The real struggle for America is not between Democrats and Republicans, but between the mainstream American populists and the ruling political elites, argues humorist and journalist Joel Stein in his new book, <i>In Defense of Elitism: Why Im Better Than You and Youre Better Than Someone Who Didnt Buy This Book</i>. It is <b>a smart, incisive, and very funny</b> ...more
Tom Walsh
Oct 28, 2019 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 14, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: book-books
I'm not sure how well I'd get along with most anyone in this book, the author included. Most of them seem all right enough though, despite some big disagreements. <br /><br />My biggest problem with the book is the idea that populism = Donald Trump and going with your gut, and that elitism = treasuring facts and trusting experts. There is an absurd amount of gray in between those two (in my opinion, contrived) absolutes. I have no desire to live in a small racist town, yet the idea of a security company hired ...more
Nov 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
I agree with parts of the author's arguments, but I wish it were more back by statistical evidence. Don't get me wrong I would much rather listen to an elite over a non-elite in an area I know nothing about and an area they are supposed to be the expert. <br /><br />The author makes a lot of arguments against populism because people backing populism tend to operate off how they feel. Despite making this argument though, the author doesn't have a lot of objective evidence to support his arguments that the elites ...more
Nov 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I LOVED this book. I listened to it on audio as read by the author which was a great choice. There were many points at which I appreciated hearing the joke delivered as the author intended. It was so interesting to hear about the different politics, socioeconomic subgroups, and other variables that define an elitenot just education or income as I had thought. Stein both defends and takes down elitism and does it all with a sense of humor. I highly recommend this to everyone. ...more
Joshua Gans
Nov 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
About a decade ago, I received an email from Joel Stein. It was suspicious as it was from a Yahoo address but he sold himself as "The" Joel Stein so I read on.<br /><br />The first thing "Joel" did was point out that we overlapped at Stanford (he had done some research). Of course, he was an undergraduate and I was a graduate student so, despite his intention to form a connection, I took it as a sign of his inferiority. You see, graduate students have nothing to do with undergraduate students at Stanford as ...more
Chele Hipp
Nov 10, 2019 rated it liked it
If this book was evaluated like an elite high school debate held on the Stanford campus each year, Mr. Stein would be winning the debate handily in each round and scoring exceedingly high speaker points. But, in the end, while he would still get the Top Speaker Award, he would not win the tournament trophy because he gave up his argument in his closing statement.<br /><br />This book is written five parts, four of which are hilarious and compelling arguments for finding connection with every type of elite and ...more
Nov 16, 2019 rated it liked it
Joel Stein is a funny author. He used to write for Time Magazine, and often had a very funny humor column on the last page. This is a book on a serious subject, written in his glib style. I love glib, but it fights with the point Stein is trying to make. He writes in defense of Elitism, when at a core he means expertise but Elitism is funnier, and perhaps closer to his heart as a graduate of Stanford, which he frequently points out.. The first part of book features his trip to Miami (pronounced ...more
Christine Somers
Nov 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Best book ever! Its only weakness is its failure to offer a simple solution to the glaring divide between the Intellectual Elite and the Boat Elite. I, too, like the good people of Miami, Texas and I am sad to hear that alcoholism took the life of Sam Bower. I am also sad to read about the loss of Scott Adams' stepson to an opioid overdose. I did not know of these people until I read Joel Stein's book. My caring about these strangers came out from Stein's open and funny storytelling of his encounters ...more
Bill Shannon
Nov 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
<i>In Defense of Elitism</i> is an immensely enjoyable one-man referendum on why striving for elitism is a virtue, rather than a vice. Elitism in this case is directly antithetical to populism, and trumpets the advantages of doing things like: reading books, eating interesting foods, tolerating people with different skin colors, etc.<br /><br />It's a very funny book, simultaneously arrogant and self-deprecating, and illustrates the difference between simply wealthy people and elite people, as well as the different ...more
Elizabeth Hesselbach
Nov 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Loved this book. I feel like it should be required reading for anyway who has an opinion on politics in our world today. The author is an admitted liberal elite so the book has a slant... but it is so incredibly thought provoking. As someone born and raised in Missouri around strong conservatives and living in California for 8 years around strong liberals, I just loved how he approached the massive divide we are dealing with in our country. He made some generalizations here and there that simplified ...more
Dani Marescotti
Sep 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Interesting investigation into the tension between populism and elitism and how this led to the election of Donald Trump. I don't agree with everything Stein wrote and thought some of his arguments could have been more nuanced, but I did overall enjoy the book and found it thought-provoking. <br /><br />Note: I read an advance reading copy and do not know what changes will be made before it is officially published in October.
Oliver Bogler
Nov 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Mr. Stein manages the nearly impossible in these troubled times. He illuminates a key dynamic putting pressure on our fragile republic - the struggle between populism and elitism - with humanity and humor. You can learn about how others are, think about how we got here and begin to perhaps see a way forward, all while having a smile on your lips. Not an easy thing to have pulled off.
Jo Ann Coopwood
Nov 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Former TIME columnist, funny take on the American political divide. Travels to Miami, TX Trump country, chats with his liberal-minded neighbors in Los Feliz, CA, interviews with Scott Adams, Tucker Carlson, Bill new ideas or solutions, just humorous insight into why we have different opinions &amp; our trouble with empathy for the other side
Margo Tanenbaum
Nov 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult, humor, politics
I couldn't resist reading this when I saw the title, which in itself is hilarious. The book is well worth reading for those of us who still don't understand how we wound up with Trump in the White House.
Neil McGee
Oct 24, 2019 rated it it was ok
I have no sense of humor and found it difficult to connect with this book; which line was real or a farce.<br /><br />Could have been a good novel, is the author hadn't undercut his own credibility.<br /><br />
Cam Kovach
Aug 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Amusing and heartfelt.
Ron Frampton
Nov 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book will make you laugh and think as you read it.
I quite enjoyed this book. Interesting points are made and i relate to Stein's sense of humor. <br />
Nov 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thought provoking, insightful and, of course, hilarious!
Nov 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
I thought he made some interesting points - and it was a thoroughly enjoyable book. I laughed out loud a few times and already recommended the book to a friend.
Ken Montville
rated it it was amazing
Nov 18, 2019
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Nov 13, 2019
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Nov 16, 2019
Sean Lynn
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Nov 07, 2019
Arthur W. Anderson
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Nov 16, 2019
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Oct 31, 2019
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Nov 09, 2019
Robert H. Millavec
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Nov 01, 2019
Brahm Kornbluth
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Nov 07, 2019
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