Better Off Without ’Em

A Northern Manifesto for Southern Secession

Dubbed “savagely funny” (The New York Times) and “wickedly entertaining” (San Francisco Chronicle), acclaimed travel writer Chuck Thompson embarks on a controversial road trip to prove that both sides might be better off if the South were to secede once and for all.

In Better Off Without ’Em, Thompson offers a heavily researched, serious inquiry into national divides that is unabashedly controversial, often uproarious, and always thought-provoking. By crunching numbers, interviewing experts, and traveling the not-so-former Confederacy, Thompson—an openly disgruntled liberal Northwesterner—actually makes a compelling case for southern secession.

Along the way, he interacts with possum-hunting conservatives, trailer park lifers, prayer warriors, and other regional trendsetters, showing that the South’s church-driven morality, politics, and personality never have and never will define the region as a fully committed part of the United States.

Better Off Without ’Em is a deliberately provocative book whose insight, humor, fearless politics, and sheer nerve will spark a long overdue debate.

Better Off Without ’Em: A Northern Manifesto for Southern Secession

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“Viciously funny and thoroughly tasteless. Like Matt Taibbi or Bill Maher, Thompson isn’t aiming just to entertain; he wants readers to take his underlying argument seriously.”
— The Washington Monthly
“Often thoughtful, always irreverent . . . a raucous road trip through the South with a funny, informed, sardonic, and opinionated Yankee.”
— Kirkus Reviews
“Hilariously 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.”
— Publishers Weekly
“Awesomely talented and wickedly funny.”
— Philadelphia Inquirer
“A confrontational, extreme–and occasionally convincing–argument for cutting the South loose, peppered with hilarious anecdotes.”
—Shelf Awareness
“Thompson doesn’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.”
— Eric Weiner, author of The Geography of Bliss