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Publisher's Summary

Recent years have seen a revival of the heated culture wars of the 1990s, but this time its battleground is the Internet. On one side the alt-right ranges from the once obscure neo-reactionary and white separatist movements, to geeky subcultures like 4chan, to more mainstream manifestations such as the Trump-supporting gay libertarian Milo Yiannopolous.

On the other side, a culture of struggle sessions and virtue signaling lurks behind a therapeutic language of trigger warnings and safe spaces. The feminist side of the online culture wars has its equally geeky subcultures right through to its mainstream expression.

Kill All Normies explores some of the cultural genealogies and past parallels of these styles and subcultures, drawing from transgressive styles of 60s libertinism and conservative movements, to make the case for a rejection of the perpetual cultural turn.

©2017 Angela Nagle (P)2017 Tantor

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What listeners say about Kill All Normies

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  • 10k
  • 26-02-2018

Enjoyable and thought provoking

What made the experience of listening to Kill All Normies the most enjoyable?

Nagle delved into some interesting topics in a way that proved she actually knew what she was talking about. I grew up on 4chan, tumblr and other internet hellholes. She's not writing as many outsiders to the world do.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Kill All Normies?

A few references she made to other texts sent me down rabbit holes; Fisher, Haidt and a few others.

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

Some moments of the reading were a little jarring - not sure if that was down to the editing or not.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

As someone who I'd assumed to be firmly on the left, she slams the online left. It was good to reflect on some of these ideals held by my peers.

1 person found this helpful

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Fascinating

Fascinating yet deeply disturbing. My only criticism is that there weren’t any interviews. But otherwise incredibly insightful, balanced, and informative.

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Narration did not suit

I ended up returning this book. The ideas were interesting but the narrator’s speed and cadence seemed wrong. This made it hard to follow and understand the concepts. I was unable to listen to it.

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Acute analysis

Brilliant analysis of the causes and consequences of the 21st C culture wars. Identifies the deleterious development of identity politics on the Left and it’s even darker shadow on the Right, with new and extreme forms of misogyny and racism (evident in alt-Right figures such as Milo Yianopolis and Richard Spencer). Defines this as a consequence of neoliberalism, isolation, modernity and the rise of the Internet and social media producing new forms of political polarisation and anomie. Examines how alt-Right figures and their legions on 4Chan use irony, cruelty and extreme forms of digital harassment to mock liberal sensibilities and bully Left women and girls in particular (although she defines the killing of Harambe case as paradigmatic of the narrative structure of alt-Right meme culture). Also examines the roots of this in a new culture of victimhood on the Left, especially evident on sites such as Tumblr. Nagle examines how the Left have abandoned the working class and political-economic critique in favour of identity politics and virtue signalling. Examines how increasingly niche gender identities and the cult of victimhood have moved from the margins to the centre of Left discourse thereby alienating most people, especially the working class. Similarly, and brilliantly, identifies the death of classical (Burkean) conservatism in the alt-Right. Calls for a return to political-economic analysis on the Left and a revived moral core.

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  • Mercury Starlight
  • 15-05-2018

Nuanced and Even-handed, But Still Lacking

A well written and surprisingly deep summary of the culture wars' evolution over the last 20 years. Still, I can't help but feel like the author misses the point at times.

The look into the Right's even harder right-turn was interesting and, from an outsider's perspective, very accurate. But the inaccuracies and distorted presentations of some (certainly not all) of the Left's counter culture participants makes me question how well she represents the Right as well.

Like others, I was startled to hear the author seemingly gloss over the existence of TERFs, which have been active in feminism since the Second Wave and are not by any means a myth or minor issue. Germaine Greer, mentioned by name and a pioneer of the Second Wave, is a notorious anti-trans bigot whose hateful language is readily accessible to anyone with a computer, and the author's dismissal of her criticizers as somehow reactionary or frivolous is baffling, not to mention the implication that the liberal community criticizes her for views she held 20 or 30 years ago - Greer's most recent (honestly, really vile) comments against the idea of trans women being women were made in 2018! Yet the book suggests that to label her a Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminist is to hurl invective or insults without merit. To be entirely honest, it makes me wonder what the author's own views on transgenderism are, and whether they color her perspective on the validity of the Left's position.

The book raises several issues vital to the survival of the Left as a political ideology, which I do not dispute. Fascism is indeed in the rise among both the Left and Right, and it's important to the future of humanity as a whole to fight fascism wherever it spreads. However, the book also draws a common false equivalency, suggesting that neo-nazis and anti-fascists (people who are invested in preventing neo-nazism from spreading) are somehow two sides of the same coin. Also, to my point above, I would argue TERFs and other exclusionary/separatist leftists are the main problem we on the Left should be fighting, not college students refusing to listen to Milo Yannopolis. Censorship is an important issue, but so is contributing to a culture where Trans women are murdered with such regularity that there is an annual day set aside to remember them.

All in all, I think this was a valuable read, but one to be considered with a very critical eye.

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  • Gregory
  • 11-02-2020

That's it?

There is so much more to this. there was no mention of the mass uncoordinated spontaneous and organic movements from exposing Scientology, the reaction to woke celebrities such as the he will not divide us campaign, memeing Donald trump into the presidency, shutting down corporations websites with DDOS attacks, invading childrens online games and spreading hate with memes, to purity motivated trackdowns of rapists, murderers, and animal abusers. This phenomenon, known as "weaponized autism" and its application to mass movement goals is completely absent.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Daniel
  • 23-04-2018

Some false equivalences, but otherwise great analysis

It comes off as trying to say the sensitive tumblr crowd is somehow the left’s alt-right, but it’s hard to compare people who just get butthurt easy to those who lionize a mass shooter and are openly Nazi in a lot of cases. Also it seems like the author doesn’t think TERFs are a thing, but it only takes about 10 minutes on twitter to see that they are and they’re active. Lastly, anarchists aren’t progressives. They’re in their own category. Berkeley riots had nothing to do with progressivism. Progressives are too scared to actually meet anyone in the streets lol

17 people found this helpful

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  • Sally
  • 19-11-2017

Best book I’ve read this year!!!

A fantastic but harrowing overview of the shitty ways the online cultures that are basically the reason I don’t go on social media any more have shaped the divide we have today.

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  • A
  • 27-05-2018

Weak understanding of internet culture.

Gabriella Coleman's book is a reference on anonymous. This book lacks a basic understanding of internet culture.
The non-internet based arguments are okay-ish.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Josh
  • 31-12-2017

distribution, eye-opening

This book illuminates the giant bottomless pit of online horror on the Left and Right

2 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-12-2017

I as a leftist admire this criticism of leftism

A great and rigorous analysis of current trends, an intellectually honest critique of the identetarian segments of the modern left. Truly worth your time.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 27-09-2021

Should have gone more in depth

There are a lot of good, interesting points here, but I don't feel like the author researched the topics deeply enough. It's well-written. The narration is decent. The author made am attempt and displaying "both sides" of the issue. But Angela doesn't understand a lot of what she's talking about. And she definitely misrepresented Fight Club 😅

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  • Jose Serrano
  • 05-05-2022

Sobering & eye-opening

A sobering, eye-opening, and dizzying dissection of the underbelly of the online cultural wars. Angela Nagle does a remarkable job surveying this terrifying landscape.

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  • Mitchell
  • 10-01-2022

Excellent for the uninitiated

If you wasted the last 15 years on 4chan, this won’t be anything new. If you had a good life and good mental health, you will learn many things. Wish there was more analysis but what analysis there was sufficed.

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  • Doug Segal
  • 25-04-2018

Worst narration ever

I’m only 30mins in but I might have to give the book back for refund.
It’s the worst narration I’ve ever heard.
It’s clear that she’s never seen the script before reading it aloud and it’s actually following it.
She stumbles over words, has strange intonation, stresses words in a way that runs counter to the sense of what she’s reading, mispronounces words and there are bits where you can hear that she’s had to record that individual word again because she is struggling with it.

As a result it’s incredibly hard to follow the thrust of the book as the author intended.

It’s SHOCKINGLY bad and very jarring.

15 people found this helpful

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  • Conor O'Sullivan
  • 10-11-2017

Excellent summary

A well researched and enjoyably presented look into the sources of the alt right. Looking forward to listening through a second time to pick up on things that I might have missed first time around.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Kevin Volf
  • 11-06-2018

Objective, scholarly, accessible

In my opinion this book provides the serious and lucid analysis which this subject had been missing. Not a hysterical diatribe or ideological polemic but a thoughtful reaction with scrupulous regard for the facts. Thought provoking

1 person found this helpful

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  • Tony
  • 09-11-2017

Very interesting

Found this a fascinating insight into an area I don't really understand and feel I can no longer ignore.
Also narrator's style and cadence really suited the content.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Joe McGuchan
  • 16-11-2021

must read for veterans of the culture wars

I've spent basically my whole life online, and have seen the events that this book describes first hand. The author takes these formative experiences, and explains and justifies them as part of a wider narrative of cultural change. Thee internet isn't stupid or niche anymore, it's the central landscape that our debates take place on, and it is incredibly refreshing to see a philosopher take this seriously. Yes, the discussions of memes and drama might seem stupid. But this is the reality of the cultural landscape the western world lives within, and it's refreshing to see someone take the irony seriously for once.

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  • Conor
  • 07-01-2021

Great stuff

The narrator was grand, don't know what the other reviewers are on about there. As for the author, Nagle is one of the best thinkers around, she absolutely nailed this. Hope she's got more books coming

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Poindexter
  • 31-08-2020

a bit repetitive at times but very interesting.

i found this book somewhat repetitive and disorganized but it introduces a lot of sobering knowledge into the world of the alt right.

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  • booklover
  • 22-02-2020

horrific narration, great content. shame.

hated the narrator and her annoying tone. shame because the topic is so important. didn't finish it.

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  • Ollie M
  • 10-02-2020

Good

I'm not sure what another reviewer was talking about re narration style. I thought it was fine.

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  • Conal McIntyre
  • 26-09-2019

Short, punchy and to the point

I really enjoyed this audiobook. I have listened to it twice now and enjoyed it as much the second time as I did the first.

It's a concise overview of the online culture wars and the parts of it the bubbled over into the real non-internet analogue world. The pace of the book is quite fast and there is a lot of detail; though books could be written about events and ideas that get brushed past.

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