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Jon Ronson Books In Order

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Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Them: Adventures with Extremists (2001)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Men Who Stare at Goats (2004)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Psychopath Test (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
Lost at Sea (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
Frank: The True Story that Inspired the Movie (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
So You've Been Publicly Shamed (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Elephant in the Room (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Butterfly Effect (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Last Days of August (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Collections

Out of the Ordinary: True Tales of Everyday Craziness (2006)Description / Buy at Amazon
What I Do: More True Tales of Everyday Craziness (2007)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Amazing Adventures of Phoenix Jones & the Less Amazing Adventures of Some Other Real-life Superheroes (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

One for the Trouble: Book Slam Volume 1(2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Picador Book of 40(2012)Description / Buy at Amazon

About Jon Ronson
The Welsh-American writer Jon Ronson is well known for his investigative journalism, as he looks for human interest stories from the fringes of society. Telling real-life tales, he has a gift for digging deeper unearthing hidden truths, and getting to the heart of unique and interesting subjects. This has seen him finding stories from around the world, whether it’s conspiracy theorists, the medical classification of psychopathy, or the fallout of internet shaming through social-media.

Highly vocal about his craft as well, he’s often found giving talks and interviews on his writing and experiences too. Engaging his audience both online and off, he’s a regular user of social-media himself, as well as writing about it. Not only that, but he’s also produced various different documentaries for television and radio as well.

Many have termed his style as Gonzo journalism, whereby Ronson will make himself a part of the story, as the reader watches it unfold through his eyes. This makes for a far more personal and intimate approach, giving the reader a first-hand account of the subject in hand. Reaching readers from all around the world, he’s managed to create a brand quite unlike any other, as he continues to write to this day.

Early and Personal Life
Born in 1967 on the 10th of May, Jon Ronson was born and raised in Cardiff, where he attended Cardiff High School. He would later work for CBC Radio based in Cardiff, before going on to attend the University of Westminster, gaining a media degree. This would lead to him living in London for some time, as he would continue to write for a variety of different publications, all the while finding his own personal style.

Previously he’d also become the keyboard player for the cult favorite Frank Sidebottom band during the 1980s, as well working as manager for the indie band The Man From Delmonte. This would also provide him with a wealth of experiences to draw from, most notably that of the film ‘Frank’ in 2014. He’d go on to become a writer, working in radio, reporting as a journalist finding niche human interest stories. Currently living in Upstate New York, America, with his wife Elaine Patterson, as he continues to write to this present day.

Writing Career
The first book that Jon Ronson would write and publish was titled ‘Clubbed Class’ and it would be a 1994 travelogue based on his attempts to bluff his way into a jet-set lifestyle. Following this he’d publish the book ‘Them: Adventures With Extremists’ in 2001, whereby he’d follow conspiracy theorists, including David Icke and Alex Jones before they became well known, chronicling their activities. This, along with other books of his, have been optioned for film, with his 2004 book ‘The Men Who Stare at Goats’ being made into a film in 2009.

Ronson has also written various other films too, including the 2017 Netflix film ‘Okja,’ which he wrote with the Oscar winning director Bong Joon-ho. Appearing on television and in radio, he’s also produced different podcasts, including ‘The Butterfly Effect’ in 2017, and ‘The Last Days of August’ in 2019, both of which looked in detail at the industry of internet pornography and its impact. Winning awards and nominations for his work over the years he’s not stopping any time soon either, as his writing career grows from strength-to-strength.

The Psychopath Test
Originally published on the 12th of May in 2011, this would first come out through the ‘Riverhead Books’ publishing outlet. Working as a stand-alone title, it’s a non-fiction piece of investigative journalism, told through the eyes of Jon Ronson himself. Following a linear trail, he charts his own journey through the world of psychoanalysis, with this self-contained book.

Starting out investigating what might be a potential hoax involving many of the world’s top neurologists, the journalist Jon Ronson soon finds himself in the world of psychoanalysis. Looking into the madness industry, he soon starts to learn what it means to be a psychopath, and how that is measured through a test. This is the test of the Canadian psychologist Robert Hare, and it is the Psychopathy Checklist, offering a range of identifiable traits for potential psychopaths.

This test has led Hare to believe that many high-ranking and successful individuals in society are indeed psychopaths. From this Ronson is taken on a journey to find out more, discovering the true implications of the test and what it might mean. Meeting people who’ve been institutionalized, he attempts to get to the bottom of whether there is ground for this theory of Hare’s by conducting the psychopath test. Ronson also then proceeds to look closer at those that manage the industry of ‘madness,’ noting that they may be not too dissimilar from those they treat.

So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed
Initially released in 2015 on the 9th of March, this would originally come out on the ‘Riverhead Books’ publishing label. A stand-alone title, it would combine investigative journalism with storytelling, as Jon Ronson looks into the phenomena of public shaming online. A New York Times bestseller, it would have a powerful impact upon its first release, shining a light on a relatively new concept.

With the sharp rise in technology during the twenty-first century, social-media has become a lot more prevalent around the world. Although it’s brought many benefits, it’s also seen many downsides too, particularly that of the phenomena known as ‘online public shaming’ which Jon Ronson looks at here. This involves individuals who’ve had their life turned upside down through the internet, following large mobs online tearing their lives apart for perceived transgressions.
Whether it’s a joke that was misinterpreted, or a transgression in the workplace, individuals have seen their lives altered after mobs have formed in order to socially shame them. Sometimes this could potentially be for the better, for instance exposing corruption with high-ranking individuals or seeking justice, while other times it’s everyday people who may have poorly phrased a joke. Here Jon Ronson takes a look at the phenomena of large groups of people publicly shaming others on mass, and deals with it case-by-case, looking at what it means and the after effects through interviews with real people. He also looks at the history of public shaming, and what it means, along with examining the psychology behind it, and the toll it takes.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Jon Ronson

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