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I Am America (And So Can You!) Paperback – October 20, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. As this audiobook opens with patriotic drums rolling, Colbert launches into his introduction, his delivery reminiscent of a sergeant firing up the troops before battle. America is under siege, he declares. And the enemy? The liberal media, Hollywood, heirloom tomatoes and, yes, even baby carrots, which he says are trying to turn me gay. That's the Truth as Colbert sees it, and this audio, as well-produced as an episode of The Colbert Report, is the perfect vehicle for his off-the-cuff (and off-the-wall) humor. A mariachi band plays as Colbert advocates building a 2,000-mile-long wall between the U.S. and Mexico, and spooky music underscores his future opinions (Just because something is unknowable doesn't mean I don't have some strong opinions about it). Periodically, other readers chime in for the Stephen Speaks for Me segments, expertly embodying such characters as God, an old spinster and an overzealous football fan. Those who can't get enough of the Report will savor this savvy satire, including the packaging—which bears a hilarious illustration of Colbert as the Hulk.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

The funnyman host of Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report rants about things that are wrong with America, offering his “knee jerk beliefs” on everything from the liberal media to environmentalists. If we continue to secularize Christmas, he screeches, former carolers will become wandering, alcoholic bums, and insects will grow into giant, munching minivans. He advocates legalizing performance-enhancing drugs for athletes, since sports are entertainment. Taking on a blowhard persona, he attacks atheists—how could a god exist who created a group that so pisses him off? Atheists are more hated than gays, to whom we at least entrust our hair. Interspersed with Colbert’s shrill tirades are the voices of other characters, notably the more modulated tones of God, who claims to be fair since he does not intercede in the outcome of sports on which he bets. Patriotic drums, a mariachi band, and other music accompanies this hilarious audio. Colbert fans will approve. --Whitney Scott --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; Reprint edition (October 20, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446582182
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446582186
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (589 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #111,532 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

124 of 141 people found the following review helpful By Cynthia K. Robertson TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 5, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I read many books in the course of a year, and I tend to rotate between histories, biographies, fiction and mysteries. But every once in a while, I'll read a book that is pure entertainment. Stephen Colbert's I Am America (And So Can You) is side-splitting, laugh-out-loud hysterical!

Colbert is best known for his TV satire on Comedy Central, The Colbert Report. Cobert plays a clueless right-wing pundit who has an opinion on everything--which is never based on fact. The book is divided into three sections, which are then divided into chapters. The chapters cover such hot topics as Sports, Sex & Dating, Homosexuals, Higher Education, Race, The Media, and Science. Cobert gives us his irreverent and uneducated opinion on all things America. "See, at one time, America was pure. Men were men, women were women, and gays were confirmed bachelors." On movies, "once fantastic dreamscapes where cowboys fought Indians and gay men kissed Elizabeth Taylor, became squalid nightmares where cowboys turned tricks and hillbillies kissed Ned Beatty." Colbert includes a whole glassary on science. For Geology, "The last thing I need is a bunch of dust-covered fossil sweepers telling me that the Earth is four billion years old." Also, the author used to be "pro-Fahrenheit" until he found out it was named for a Dutchman. "I don't want my thermometer taking orders from some Amsterdam stoner who got bonged out of his mind one night and started messing around with mercury."

There are also fun things in I Am America. There are two sets of stickers, games, interviews, and the first edition even has a red ribbon bookmark. There are also funny margin notes and footnotes on each page, although I'll "whine" and complain that the print on these could be larger.
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50 of 63 people found the following review helpful By Steven A. Peterson TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 10, 2008
Format: Hardcover
If you know about Stephen Colbert, you'll get a buzz out of this. If you don't, you may be outraged, confused, or God knows what. I got this as a Christmas present, and have found this book hilarious. No sacred cows for Colbert! And that will delight some and anger others.

Hey, I'm a college professor/administrator, and he takes shots at me and my ilk! And I love it! On page 119, he says: "If there's a bigger contributor to left-wing elitist brainwashing than colleges and universities, I'd like to see it. There's an old saying, 'A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.' Which means a lot of knowledge must be a really dangerous thing." On the next page, he notes one of the horrors of college (page 120): "The more you know, the sadder you get."

As he points out at the outset (page vii), "Well, like a lot of other dictators, there is one man's opinion I value above all others. Mine."

His segment on families is outrageous--and funny. He begins by noting that "I'm against children" (page 10). Then, he goes on to lay out a number of laws/tips regarding child raising, among which are items that parents will chuckle over.

What about the elderly? No sacred cow here. He notes that (page 23) "After criminals and babies, seniors are the most coddled segment of the population."

On religion and religious freedom (page 48): "Since the Pilgrims were victims of persecution, some assume they were tolerant. That's just liberal propaganda. Sure they were against persecution...of Pilgrims."

And he reflects on the Olympics, on sports generally, on the media (look at his comments on the major networks on page 154), and science (hilarious).
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88 of 113 people found the following review helpful By Nathaniel Jones on September 9, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Over the three day weekend I happened to find myself in an old-growth national forest looking for tree-huggers to punch in the gullet when I found myself face to face with a towering, black (or so I was told later - I don't see color) Godless Killing Machine.

Of course I would have fought it, had I not injured one of my wrists in a thrilling arm wrestling match with speaker of the house Nancy Pelosi, but as it was, I was left defenseless - except for my copy of "I Am America (And So Can You!)"

Thinking quickly I took the book from my pack and threw it at the charging bear. The throw was strong, my aim was true, and the book hit the beast right on the bean, giving him pause long enough to get distracted from his pursuit by the glowing image of Colbert's face on the cover.

It was in that moment that Stephen and the Bear locked eyes that the full power of truthiness rose from the book and covered the entire forest with a warm tingly sensation, similar to that felt while using "Herbal Essences."

The bear, under the hypnotic spell of Colbert's book, decided then to give up his life as a godless killing machine, to shed his fur, and follow the path of righteousness. From that day forward, this creature would no longer be known as "bear," but now... as "Sean Hannity."

And that's the word.
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68 of 88 people found the following review helpful By Timothy Haugh VINE VOICE on November 18, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My wife and I having a running debate over which show is better: The Daily Show or The Colbert Report. We both like both shows; however, she's a bigger fan of Colbert whereas I think he was funnier on The Daily Show. (How I miss him on "This Week in God.")

That's not to say Colbert isn't still funny. He is. Very funny. But the conceit of his new show leaves him less space to maneuver and that is reflected in his book.

Essentially, I Am America (and So Can You!) reads like a combination of a book-length "Word" segment from his show (complete with margin comments) and the kind of narcissistic, pseudo-biography/position statement produced ad naseum by politician and TV pundits. The key words here being "book-length."

Reading long passages from this book in one sitting becomes quite tedious, as if the entire half-hour of The Colbert Report had been taken up with one long "Word" segment. However, if you take the book a chapter at a time, it's much easier to be caught up in the funny moments. And there are plenty of them here, including a reprint of Colbert's speech at the White House Correspondents' Dinner.

Don't feel you're doing Stephen disrespect if you take him in chunks. It would be more disrespectful if you gave up on what's here because you got sucked into the vortex of the conceit through which it's written. Stick with it. It's worth the journey.
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