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America (The Book): A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction

by Jon Stewart, David Javerbaum, Ben Karlin

Other authors: Samantha Bee (Additional material), Rich Blomquist (Writer), Steve Bodow (Writer), Tim Carvell (Writer), Stephen Colbert (Additional material)13 more, Rob Corddroy (Additional material), Eric Drysdale (Writer), J.R. Havlan (Writer), Brendan Hay (Additional material), Ed Helms (Additional material), Scott Jacobson (Writer), Thomas Jefferson (Foreword), Tom Johnson (Writer), Rob Kutner (Writer), Pentagram (Designer), Chris Regan (Writer), Jason Reich (Writer), Jason Ross (Writer)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7,312611,203 (4.09)88
Offers tongue-in-cheek insight into American democracy with coverage of such topics as the republican qualities of ancient Rome, the antics of our nation's founders, and the ludicrous nature of today's media.
  1. 50
    I Am America (And So Can You!) by Stephen Colbert (rosylibrarian)
  2. 239
    An inconvenient book: real solutions to the world's biggest problems by Glenn Beck (DistortedSmile)
    DistortedSmile: If you like Jon Stewart's humour, but want something from a little different angle, you can tackle this book by Glenn Beck. I'd never heard of him before and decided to read this....I was pleasantly surprised at his take on major political/economic/personal issues and found his sense of humour subtle, but refreshing.… (more)

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» See also 88 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 61 (next | show all)
Rated: B
What a wit. Found myself giggling on almost every page. Fun read. ( )
  jmcdbooks | Dec 25, 2020 |
I read this book towards the end of 2003. I do remember liking it, and now that I look back, I still think it is a lot better than Colbert's book, which I reviewed here as well. ( )
  bloodravenlib | Aug 17, 2020 |
cute. ( )
  MaryHeleneMele | May 6, 2019 |
While humorous, there are some very cringe-worthy moments in this book. Mostly the overemphasis on using r*tard as an insult, and accusing people they don't like of being "secretly gay" (as we know, the worst possible insult to a straight). It just got tiring.

It does give a succinct look at American Democracy, from the different branches of government to the history of the nation. The book helps explain the functions of the executive branch, the checks and balances of the Senate and Congress, and the judicial branch. There is a brief look at the possible future of America. The final chapter consists of infographics covering the rest of the world, and why, in the writers' opinions, it's not worth going.

Even though the book is now dated, being from 2004, there are still some poignant facts through the haze of rude punch-downs and occasional poorly executed jokes. Still worth a read, I think.

I do like how the whole book is laid out like a classic school textbook. ( )
  regularguy5mb | Jan 12, 2019 |
not a new classic ( )
  deldevries | Jan 31, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 61 (next | show all)
Stewart and his co-authors (there are 18 of them!) have few illusions about transforming the American electorate with this instructional tome.

But they aren't altogether pessimistic: "Even if there isn't a Jefferson or Hamilton among you," they conclude, "if you just smash together the basic ideas of this book you're bound to wind up with something better than North Korea."

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jon Stewartprimary authorall editionscalculated
Javerbaum, Davidmain authorall editionsconfirmed
Karlin, Benmain authorall editionsconfirmed
Bee, SamanthaAdditional materialsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Blomquist, RichWritersecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bodow, SteveWritersecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Carvell, TimWritersecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Colbert, StephenAdditional materialsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Corddroy, RobAdditional materialsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Drysdale, EricWritersecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Havlan, J.R.Writersecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hay, BrendanAdditional materialsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Helms, EdAdditional materialsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jacobson, ScottWritersecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jefferson, ThomasForewordsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Johnson, TomWritersecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kutner, RobWritersecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
PentagramDesignersecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Regan, ChrisWritersecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Reich, JasonWritersecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ross, JasonWritersecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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"It is true that we are called a democracy, for the administration is in the hands of the many and not the few."
— Pericles
"Yes, Pericles, but have you gotten a load of the many?"
— Socrates
"Jefferson, you're on the two. Hamilton? You get the ten. I'm calling dibs on the one. That's all me, baby. What's that, Adams? You wanted the one? All right, that's it: You don't get to be on anything. That's right, I'm taking back the quarter. Anyone else want to complain? I didn't think so."
— George Washington, 1789
"[expletive deleted]"
— Richard M. Nixon
"...the previous question shall be considered as ordered on the concurrent resolution and amendments thereto to final adoption without intervening motion except amendments offered by the chairman of the Committee on the Budget pursuant to section 305(a)(5) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 to achieve mathematical consistency. The concurrent resolution shall not be subject to a demand for division of the question of its adoption."
— H. Res. 574 [Report No. 108 - 446]
To the huddled masses,

Keep yearnin'!
First words
When America (The Book) first approached me about penning the foreword to their tome, I was surprised.
It is often said that America "invented" democracy.
Quipped a jubilant Hamilton, "The only way it could fail is if one party gained control of not just the Executive, but also the Senate and the House chambers and upon doing so, proceeded to bring in like-minded judges!!!!" And then the Framers all laughed and laughed and laughed.
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Offers tongue-in-cheek insight into American democracy with coverage of such topics as the republican qualities of ancient Rome, the antics of our nation's founders, and the ludicrous nature of today's media.

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