Meet the Deplorables (Paperback)

Infiltrating Trump America

By Harmon Leon, Ted Rall

39 West Press, 9781946358103, 244pp.

Publication Date: January 16, 2018

List Price: 21.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


Legendary infiltration journalist HARMON LEON is at it again, this time teaming up with ferocious political cartoonist TED RALL to answer the question most of America has been asking: "What the hell happened in 2016?" In their new book, Meet the Deplorables: Infiltrating Trump America, Leon goes deep undercover into the heart of Trump America, and Rall--two-time winner of the RFK Journalism Award and a Pulitzer Prize finalist--adds an innovative extra dimension to the book with his own essays and full-color cartoons.

Running throughout Meet the Deplorables, Rall's distinctive artwork enhances the insightful and often irreverent tone employed by Leon--an award-winning New York journalist whose stories have appeared in VICE, Esquire, The Nation, and National Geographic. In his inimitable Gonzo-style, Leon's carefully crafted narrative is designed to help us understand (and humanize) the "deplorables," a word used by Hillary Clinton during the 2016 campaign to describe the racist, sexist, homophobic, and xenophobic supporters of Donald J. Trump.

For the sake of humor and satire, Leon ventures where elite coastal journalists dare not: deep into Red State territory, where his audacious accounts vicariously take readers on a journey of enlightenment by providing a fresh and first-hand perspective of right-wing subcultures and those most adversely affected by Trump's policies. His exploits include:

  • visiting an anti-Muslim hate group during the height of Islamophobia
  • knocking door-to-door as a canvasser for the Trump campaign
  • joining a conversion therapy group that tries to "turn" homosexuals straight
  • attending a gun store wedding where couples seal vows by firing assault rifles
  • watching fanatics receive free Trump tattoos
  • participating in a Christian purity ring ceremony in Ohio.

This unique collaboration between the formidable team of Harmon Leon and Ted Rall holds up a mirror to modern conservative life and reflects a reality that is outrageous, entertaining, and always illuminating.

About the Author

HARMON LEON is a journalist, comedian, and author of six previous books, including The Harmon Chronicles and Republican Like Me, which both won Independent Publisher Awards for humor. Leon has appeared on This American Life, The Howard Stern Show, MSNBC, Penn and Teller: Bullshit!, Last Call with Carson Daly, and the BBC. He has performed critically-acclaimed solo comedy shows at venues around the world, including The Edinburgh Festival, Melbourne Comedy Festival, and Montreal's Just for Laughs. His writing can be found in Vice, The Nation, Esquire, Ozy, National Geographic, The Guardian, Wired, and more.

TED RALL has worked in almost every aspect of cartooning. His syndicated editorial cartoons for Andrews McMeel Syndication have appeared in publications like The New York Times, Rolling Stone, Washington Post, and Village Voice since the 1990s and have earned him two RFK Journalism Awards and a Pulitzer finalistship. He has done local- and state-issue cartoons for The Asbury Park Press, Las Vegas Review-Journal, Harrisburg Patriot-News, and The Los Angeles Times and humor cartoons for MAD magazine. Rall was a top editor at United Media and continues to edit cartoons for a variety of publications and cartoonists. He is also a widely-circulated syndicated opinion columnist for Creators Syndicate and has published twenty books, including collections of cartoons and essays, original graphic novels, war correspondence, adventure, travel, and political biographies. Rall's best-known books are the Gen X manifesto Revenge of the Latchkey Kids, the war travelogue To Afghanistan and Back, and the political bios Snowden and Bernie. His latest title is Francis, the People's Pope. Rall lives in New York.

Praise For Meet the Deplorables: Infiltrating Trump America

“A rollicking ride through Trumpland; Leon takes you on a tour of the stranger side of the States. By turns laugh-out-loud funny and poignant, it’s a vital guide to understanding what is happening in America today.”
–Harriet Alexander, US Correspondent for The Daily Telegraph

“If you’ve had the courage to peek out of your asshole and take a gander at our devolving America, you won’t be shocked the evils and inequities that Harmon Leon takes to task in this book. But you’ll be amazed how Leon’s hilarious subterfuge of a collapsed system can make us laugh as we slowly swirl down the muddy toilet.”
–Doug Stanhope, author of This Is Not Fame: A “From What I Re-Memoir”

“Anyone can mock their ideological enemies, but Harmon Leon does something revolutionary here-he actually gets to know them. A natural, endlessly engaging storyteller, Leon’s forays into Trump America are fascinating, funny, and incisive. Gonzo journalism at its finest.”
–Davy Rothbart, creator of Found Magazine, author of My Heart Is an Idiot

“I got more of a sense of Trump’s voters from this than from a lot of other reporting.”
–Nancy Updike, producer of This American Life