One of the smartest—and funniest—chroniclers of the rise of Trump, growing inequality, and Wall Street excess, Matt Taibbi is the author of four New York Times bestsellers, and an award-winning columnist for Rolling Stone. His recent book, Hate, Inc., is a turbocharged take on how the media twists the truth to pit us against each other. In talks, Taibbi paints an alarming portrait of politics, media, and culture, while providing a way forward against our most urgent crises.
A vivid, brazen writer whose work tackles the most pressing contemporary issues with the urgency they deserve—be they political, financial, or societal—Matt Taibbi is just as riveting a speaker as his award-winning, wry journalism would suggest. He has both the professional chops and the hard-hitting style to piece together the problems behind a fractured America in ways other writers on the topic can’t, acting as both an accessible, entertaining public intellectual and academic for the everyman. What ties everything together for Taibbi, what much of his work, books, and talks are ultimately about, is unravelling that often intangible thread of inequality—which can be found in every aspect of American society today. Recently, Taibbi made headlines for breaking the news of The Twitter Files—a set of internal Twitter documents—in a riveting investigative series on the platform itself.
In The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap—a New York Times bestseller—Taibbi explores both sides of our new system of justice: the untouchably wealthy and the criminalized poor. As he shares these incredible stories, he draws out their common source, and unveils what we need to do to stand up against the troubling trend of the Divide. Cory Doctorow wrote: “Taibbi’s spectacular financial reporting for Rolling Stone set him out as the best running commentator on the financial crisis and its crimes, and The Divide—beautifully illustrated by Molly Crabapple—shows that at full length, he’s even better.” It was named a best book of the year by The Washington Post, NPR, and Kirkus Reviews.
His most recent offering, Hate, Inc., offers his characteristically turbocharged take on the vivid, disturbing reality of the news media today. With his trademark wit and take-no-prisoners stance on the pursuit of the truth, he gives an insider’s guide to the variety of ways today’s mainstream media tells us lies and purposefully pits us against each other. Part confessional, part cautionary tirade, it reveals how what most people think of as “the news” has effectively become an unhinged wing of the entertainment business—and how we’re all playing into their hands—and what, if anything, we can do to reverse this.
In another New York Times bestseller, Insane Clown President, Taibbi offers a postmortem on American democracy: a story of nationalism, spectacle over substance, and the decay of traditional institutions—even truth. It’s a stunning analysis of a divisive and unpredictable election, the rise of Trump and populism, and the shattering of the political establishment: a prescient and riveting take on what it means to be a journalist (and citizen) in the new America.
His fifth book, I Can’t Breathe: A Killing on Bay Street, explores the roots and repercussions of the infamous killing of Eric Garner by the New York City police. Taibbi also wrote Griftopia: Bubble Machines, Vampire Squids and the Long Con That Is Breaking America, one of the most entertainingly quotable, scathing, and illuminating histories of the economic crisis. He has received the National Magazine Award for his columns in Rolling Stone, as well as a Sidney Award for his article, The Great American Bubble Machine.