Revolution is the politically polarising book by British comedian and actor, Russell Brand. It was originally published in 2014 by Random House. The audio book was published on Audible in October of the same year and it is narrated by the author.
Brand purports the idea that the current political and economic system in the West is not working and in desperate need of a revolution. He advocates ideals rooted in spirituality, love of fellow man and respect for the planet.
I’ve always considered Russell Brand to be a funny comedian, in a Jack-the-lad sort of way and conversely, someone whom one couldn’t take too seriously, given his Sex Pistols-like appearance. Of course one cannot be judged based on appearance alone and honestly, I didn’t know enough about him so as to come to any solid conclusions about his on-screen persona. Revolution completely uprooted any previous misconceptions I may have had and portrayed him in a light I probably wouldn’t have attributed to him prior.
His book is very politically charged with a heavy emphasis on socialist ideals, not in that dictatorial way that the champions of free trade, such as Milton Friedman would view as a primitive encroachment on our freedom, but with a sense of spirituality and love of our fellow man at its core.
I especially loved the way Brand narrated his book. He argues extremely concerning facts about the level of inequality and corruption that exist in our society and supplements this with witty anecdotes and laugh-out-loud humour. His narration was such that I believe I wouldn’t have gotten as much enjoyment out of Revolution had I read it myself!
Revolution received a very divided response, with many praising the relevancy of his argument (mostly your everyday ready) and the likes of Nick Cohen, political journalist for The Guardian making such grand attacks as this;
I was prepared to dismiss Revolution as the swollen ramblings of a jaded celeb. Brand leaves you in little doubt that he is trying to escape the ennui that follows trying everything once except incest and folk dancing.
I’ve read a few damning reviews of Revolution that not only critique the book, but also harshly slight the author (which in my opinion is utterly nonsensical as I came here for a book review and not for Jimmy Kimmel’s Mean Tweets videos) but personally I loved listening to this book!
Inasmuch as I felt moved and entertained by Revolution, I did find some sections of the book to be quite cumbersome and loquacious and I can’t say that I completely agreed with this entire argument. Overall however, I deeply appreciated the forthright approach it took in discussing the ineptitude of a political and social system that while it isn’t exclusively limited to a select privileged few, it is undeniably positioned in their favour.