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Profiles in ignorance : how America's politicians got dumb and dumber
2022
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Library Journal Review
Award-winning satirist Borowitz (The Borowitz Report) takes on the state of U.S. politics in this astonishing and well-researched book. There is a lot to laugh at, until it becomes clear that the political realm in the United States is just as Borowitz describes. From Ronald Reagan through the Trump era, Borowitz traces the three stages of ignorance: ridicule, acceptance, and celebration (of ignorance). Borowitz focuses on the last five decades, but he's clear that earlier examples exist. Borowitz's narration of this clever book will help listeners laugh, while the content may compel some to cry. He doesn't just chronicle; he makes recommendations for reversing this trend and raising the bar that is precariously low. Real conversations, listening, and education are the key to fighting back against the age of ignorance. The optimistic author thinks this can change course if people act. VERDICT Librarians may recognize and relate to Borowitz's amusing and insightful observations. This superbly narrated book should be a part of every public library collection.--Christa Van Herreweghe
Publishers Weekly Review
New Yorker columnist Borowitz (editor, The 50 Funniest American Writers) delivers a quip-filled look at U.S. politicians who "turned ignorance from a liability into a virtue." Claiming that "not so long ago, it was less than ideal for an American politician to seem like a dumbass," Borowitz blames Ronald Reagan for showing, in the words of humorist Molly Ivins, "that ignorance is no handicap to the presidency." (As governor of California, Reagan once claimed that plants and trees produce more air pollution than chimneys and cars.) But at least Reagan could memorize a script; Dan Quayle, on the other hand, "spewed nonsense worthy of Lewis Carroll on opium." Borowitz also skewers Sarah Palin, who allegedly did not know that Africa was a continent. But the book's biggest target is Donald Trump, who once suggested that Frederick Douglass was still alive and that American patriots "took over the airports" during the Revolutionary War. Though Borowitz's inability to resist a pun can grow tiresome, he sheds light on the cultural and economic trends that gave intellectualism a bad name and identifies the political operatives--including Roger Stone and Bill Kristol--who facilitated the rise of ignorance. Fans of The Borowitz Report will gobble this up. (Sept.)
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