So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson; Is Shame Necessary?: New Uses for an Old Tool by Jennifer Jacquet - review by K Biswas

K Biswas

So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed


Picador 277pp £16.99 order from our bookshop

Is Shame Necessary?: New Uses for an Old Tool


Allen Lane 209pp £17.99 order from our bookshop

‘I have lost my reputation! I have lost the immortal part of myself, and what remains is bestial.’ These lines from Othello were recalled by Max Mosley, the head of motor racing’s governing body, as he stared at his Sunday newspaper on 30 March 2008: ‘F1 Boss Has Sick Nazi Orgy With 5 Hookers. EXCLUSIVE: Son of fascist Hitler lover in sex shame’. Adorned with clandestine video stills, the story, penned by News of the World reporter Neville Thurlbeck, sought to shame Mosley by fusing his penchant for sadomasochistic sex with the racist politics of his father, Oswald: ‘His Jew-hating father … would have been proud of his warped son’s command of German as he struts around looking for bottoms to whack.’

But Mosley refused to be shamed. He sued the tabloid, and when no evidence was found of Nazi behaviour at the gathering, a court awarded him £60,000 in damages plus costs. ‘I’m a lot better off than I would have been if I’d gone off to hide,’ Mosley discloses to

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