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Better Off Without 'Em: A Northern Manifesto for Southern Secession (Paperback)

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Chuck Thompson—dubbed “savagely funny” by the New York Times and “wickedly entertaining” by the San Francisco Chronicle—spent two years traveling the American South to determine whether, as he’d long suspected but not yet proven, the whole country might be better off letting Dixieland make good on its two-hundred-years-old threat to secede. The result is a long overdue and serious inquiry into national divides that is deliberately provocative and uproariously funny while making a compelling case for “a kind of no-fault divorce for nation-states: no hard feelings, just two adults who can’t quite make the relationship work, shaking hands and walking away” (The Oxford American).

About the Author

Chuck Thompson is the supervising editor for Travel. His other books include the comic memoirs Smile When You’re Lying and To Hellholes and Back, and his writing has appeared in Outside, Esquire, and The New Republic, among other publications.

Praise for Better Off Without 'Em: A Northern Manifesto for Southern Secession…

eoeHilarious, dirty, and incendiary, [Better Off Without e~Em] is a book that will prompt guffaws in some, an urge to shoot it through the spine in others, and everyone to agree that it will only stoke the election-year bonfire.e

eoe(Thompson) is serious about his argument and has more than enough ammunition.e

eoeFor critics who lament the homogenization of the United States, Thompson offers several memorable scenes with distinct regional flavor. . . . Underneath all the macho bombast, there are some serious ideas at play. In a chapter on the condition of education in the South, Thompson writes passionately and persuasively about the disastrous long-term effects that de facto segregation and systematic underfunding of public schools will have on the US economy.e

eoe[Thompson] is awesomely talented and wickedly funny.e

eoeFunny in the mode of P.J. Oe(TM)Rourke and Joe Queenan.e

eoe[Thompsone(TM)s] solution is a kind of no-fault divorce for nation-states: no hard feelings, just two adults who cane(TM)t quite make the relationship work, shaking hands and walking away.e

eoeReading and hearing about the hue and cry from thousands for secession since the election, with Texas leading the pack, I highly recommend the book Better Off Without 'Em: A Northern Manifesto For Southern Secession by Chuck Thompson. He presents an intriguing and plausible plan, with a touch of humor, that just may be the only way out of the political poison that has spread across this country and endangers the future for all of us. Plus it's a darn good history lesson.e

eoeAs if Kevin Phillipse(TM)s American Theocracy were being narrated by Rolling Stonee(TM)s Matt Taibbi . . . Viciously funny and thoroughly tasteless, ite(TM)s an easy and cathartic read for anyone fed up with the Confederate influence on the national discourse. But like Taibbi or Bill Maher, Thompson isne(TM)t aiming just to entertain; he wants readers to take his underlying argument seriously.e

eoePortland nonfiction author Chuck Thompsone(TM)s Better Off Without e(TM)Em: A Northern Manifesto for Southern Secession gets the election seasone(TM)s regional angst off to a tartly observed start.e

eoeHilariously over-the-top . . . Thompson's mix of vitriol, bewilderment, humor, and research holds the seemingly disparate elements together and makes for an entertaining, if absurdly hyperbolic, read. . . . Thought-provoking.e

eoeOften thoughtful, always irreverent . . . a raucous road trip through the South with a funny, informed, sardonic and opinionated Yankee.e

eoeA convincing case that the American South is essentially a separate country that negatively affects the rest of the United States. . . . Everyone jokes about secession, and some politicianse"like Texas Gov. Rick Perrye"have even threatened it. But what if it actually happened, Mr. Thompson wondered? . . . Better Off Without e~Em combines scathing humor, caustic opinion, colorful travel writing, jaw-dropping interviews and solid academic research in an entertaining and thought-provoking book that sticks to the ribs like cheese grits and pecan pie.e

eoeAn entertaining and worthwhile read . . . [Thompson] amasses data, and somewhere in between the fire and the brimstone, plans of serious argument are laid down.e

eoeA fun, engaging reade" lete(TM)s call it speculative nonfictione"and would make for a fine night of beer-fueled argument.e

eoeThank you for the copy of Better Off Without e~Em, but I'm afraid it's New York and San Francisco that I think should secede.e
-P.J. Oe(TM)Rourke

eoeFry yourself some grits, unfurl that Confederate flag, and read this gem of a book. Chuck Thompson doesne(TM)t have a politically correct bone in his Yankee body. He skewers the South mercilessly, and hilariously. And backs up his barbs with facts. Lots of facts. Better Off Without e~Em is sure to set hearts racing, on both sides of the Mason Dixon line.e
-Eric Weiner

eoeA surprisingly worthwhile read . . . A confrontational, extremee"and occasionally convincinge"argument for cutting the South loose, peppered with hilarious anecdotes.e

"A fun yet pointed case for splitting the American Southaway from the rest of the US, offering fiery charges combined iwth meticulously researched detail into a proposition secretly entertained by many. . . . No matter what side of the line you're on, Better Off Without 'Em makes for a thought-provoking, winning analysis."

Product Details ISBN-10: 145161666X
ISBN-13: 9781451616668
Published: Simon & Schuster, 07/16/2013
Pages: 336
Language: English