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Funny Books - America, The Book A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction

Jon Stewart - America
Click Pic to Buy

Jon Stewart
Warner Books
240 pages

Book of the year according to Publisher?s Weekly
Jon Stewart, host of The Daily Show With Jon Stewart (good thing they had his name in the title otherwise he wouldn’t have gotten the job) has written a very dangerous book: America, The Book, A Citizen’s Guide to Democracy Inaction. It is dangerous because it looks like a real high school history book, feels like a real high school history book, is even structured like a real history book including illustrations and chapter end Discussion Questions and Classroom Activities, and is probably more accurate than many history books currently available in America’s classrooms (some date back to pre-Reagan days and others are so full of mistakes –see many 20/20 and Dateline NBC on this over the years). The other reason America, The Book is dangerous is that the mix between factual information, tongue-in-cheek information, and plain ol “just jivin’ you” information is so well written that we risk having a generation of students who, like their forefathers who actually believe the world was created in seven days, will believe every single thing in this book as holy writ.

America, The Book, by Jon Stewart covers democracy from its earliest days in ancient Greece (and these two quotes “It is true that we are called a democracy, for the administration is in the hands of the many and not the few.” –Pericles and “Yes, Pericles, but have you gotten a load of the few?” –Socrates give a good indication of the tone of this history book) to democracy in the future with Overlord Zargax –who just happens to look like a computer nerd / couch potato.

This is a very fun and interesting read even for those whose concept of history is the time capsules on Dateline NBC. Jon Stewart manages to get serious and true historical facts across, explain the various levels of the U.S. Government, the role of lobbyists, the judicial branch, and the inner workings of campaigns and elections. America, the Book, A Citizen’s Guide to Democracy Inaction also has a rather savage skewering of the role of the media (Democracy’s Valiant Vulgarians) and the role of political pundits.

America, the Book, A Citizen’s Guide to Democracy Inaction is a great Christmas gift or birthday gift for anyone who enjoys political satire, political activism, history and has a modicum of brains and sense of humor.

Richard Lanoie

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