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Don't Vote It Just Encourages the Bastards Hardcover – Bargain Price, September 21, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
Don't Vote is maddening because it flops back and forth between great and... well, not so great. It contains both some of O'Rourke's most scholarly work - there's a lot of real research here - without sacrificing the wit. In these chapters, his work is sharp, illuminating and still an entertaining read. But Don't Vote also contains a bunch of one-offs that are really nothing more than reprints of some of his magazine articles, and not his best ones at that. These contribute no understanding, don't move the central thesis about government ahead and are really just filler (or worse).
Not bad, but not great. Parliament of Whores is still my favorite O'Rourke rant.
American politics are dominated by news bites and slices of incomplete information and people that vote often lack a basic understanding of economic principles or in my opinion much logic. P.J. O'Rourke writes a line about what is wrong with politics, half the voters are less than average intelligence.
Using sarcasm and lots of analogies, he writes short examples of why certain political issues are often carried to absurdity, states like California with strict gun laws have lots of murders while those with very lax laws don't, for example, and also that we should probably have vote control because voting leads to politicians taking us into war which leads for far more deaths caused by guns.
He writes about the futility of much of the left and right ranting (radio, books, etc.) because it's like preaching to the little old ladies wearing white hats in the choir.
I enjoyed how he worded the observation that we allow 19 year old's to vote, but we don't trust them with a beer.
Just because he uses lots of tongue-in-cheek humor, sarcasm, and analogies that could be seen as over the top in there usage, he is obviously a well read and well informed and well connected person and his writing is crisp and straight forward. Much of the chapters read like part of a conversation with a neighbor over a beer while bar-b-cuing some burgers. Good old fashioned complaining about how stupid so much of the American political scene is, was, and will be for the foreseeable future.
He points out that taxes make Republicans, logic makes libertarians and having children makes conservatives.Read more ›
Well, P.J. O'Rourke's at it again. He's written a virtual sequel to Parliament of Whores that shows that in the intervening 18 years American politics has managed to become even more screwed up. And there's no one better suited to lampooning the state of American politics than P.J. O'Rourke.
But what separates this book from the many other books of political satire is that O'Rourke isn't just a bomb-throwing satirist. When, just a few pages in, O'Rourke is name-checking Michael Oakeshott, you know you're reading the work of an author who's done his homework. This book is a satire, to be sure, but it's an intelligent and thoughtful satire. This book manages to mix Oakeshott, Adam Smith, and a schoolgirl's game of "Kill, F@#$, Marry" into a devastating and intelligent critique of American politics. O'Rourke's takes on everything from health care reform to the national debt, and manages to skewer these hot-button political issues without coming across as preachy or pedantic.
O'Rourke is America's best political satirist - because he's America's most well-read and intelligent political satirist. This book, like Parliament of Whores, is destined to be a classic that will still be readable and worthwhile in 20 years -- while other political satires have long since been sent to the remainder bin.
And the Kindle edition is reasonably priced too, which makes this a must-download for this election cycle and long after.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very entertaining. Fresh humor intermingled with a few PH standards from his radical-lefty daysPublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
Great P.J. O'Rourke. At his best. This guy should be a political writer. Oh, wait, he is.Published 7 months ago by Mark Landrum
This is good to make you think about the issues facing our country. If you don't like him or his place in the political spectrum, then you probably will not enjoy it.Published 11 months ago by Mark C. Kelly
The first third is insightful about history, the rest is PJ O'Rourke spouting his right sided political views and not funny. His ideas are in the last third are predictably weak.Published 17 months ago by DA