In Defense of Elitism: Why I'm Better Than You and You're Better Than Someone Who Didn't Buy This Book
Hardcover – October 22, 2019
"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 Jimmy Kimmel Live!
The night Donald Trump won the presidency, our author Joel Stein, Thurber Prize finalist and former staff writer for Time Magazine, instantly knew why. The main reason wasn't economic anxiety or racism. It was that he was anti-elitist. Hillary Clinton represented Wall Street, academics, policy papers, Davos, international treaties and the people who think they're better than you. People like Joel Stein. Trump represented something far more appealing, which was beating up people like Joel Stein.
In a full-throated defense of academia, the mainstream press, medium-rare steak, and civility, Joel Stein fights against populism. He fears a new tribal elite is coming to replace him, one that will fend off expertise of all kinds and send the country hurtling backward to a time of wars, economic stagnation and the well-done steaks doused with ketchup that Trump eats.
To find out how this shift happened and what can be done, Stein spends a week in Roberts County, Texas, which had the highest percentage of Trump voters in the country. He goes to the home of Trump-loving Dilbert cartoonist Scott Adams; meets people who create fake news; and finds the new elitist organizations merging both right and left to fight the populists. All the while using the biggest words he knows.
About the Author
Joel Stein grew up in Edison, N.J., and went to Stanford. From 1997-2017 he was a staff writer for Time magazine, writing a regular humor column and more than a dozen cover stories; he was also the back page columnist for Entertainment Weekly and the opinion section of The Los Angeles Times. He has contributed to Bloomberg Businessweek, GQ, Esquire, the New Yorker, Food & Wine, Travel + Leisure, The New York Times Book Review, Elle, and Men's Health.
Stein was a Ferris Professor of Journalism at Princeton and has appeared as a talking head on television shows such as Real Time with Bill Maher, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, and VH1's I Love The '80s. He's interviewed celebrities for HBO, Cinemax, and Comedy Central. In addition to writing on staff for two television shows, he created an animated show for VH1 (Hey Joel) and wrote six network pilots. His 2012 book, Man Made: A Stupid Quest For Masculinity, was a bestseller, and Fox hired him to adapt it as a film script. He's currently writing for the upcoming show American Princess produced by Jenji Kohan--best known as the creator of Showtime comedy-drama series Weeds and Netflix series Orange is the New Black.