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A Practical Guide to Racism Paperback – December 30, 2008


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Editorial Reviews

Review

“As everyone knows, there's only one thing that can end racism: laughter. Or fire. This book is a ready source of both. Read it with someone you hate.”
—Jon Stewart, The Daily Show

“An insightful and provocative treatise on race.?”
—John Hodgman, author of The Areas of My Expertise

“Mr. Dalton's book is sure to soothe, or possibly inflame, racial hatred.”
—George Meyer, writer and producer for The Simpsons --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

C. H. Dalton is the creation of Sam Means, an Emmy-winning writer for The Daily Show and a cartoonist for The New Yorker. Means is a former contributor to The Onion and Saturday Night Live. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Gotham (December 30, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592404308
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592404308
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (91 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,930 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

In 1954, the famously reclusive former child prodigy C. H. Dalton was born to a family of wealthy robber barons in New Haven, Connecticut. It was there that he first developed his passion for anthropology, making frequent exploratory journeys "below stairs" to observe the everyday lives of his family's servants. This only after having been dissuaded from an early interest in lepidoptery by a father who deemed butterflies "too faggy" for his only son and heir.

At 14, Dalton received a full scholarship to study anthropology, but he instead concentrated in the biological sciences, hoping to prove a chemical and genetic basis for his earlier observations. Fascinated by both taxonomy and the promise of eugenics, Dalton strove to more perfectly categorize all humankind according to their genetic predispositions.

After receiving his Ph.D. in just three years, Dalton accepted the prestigious Charles Lindbergh professorship in Ethnography at the Institute for Advanced Studies in New Jersey, where he teaches an intensive course load of two lectures every other semester. He has never married.

Customer Reviews

Very funny and truly insightful book.
joe suitss
I've literally cried reading this book from laughing so hard.
hardworkingdiva
This book is a great satire on the topic of racism.
goin2space

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

86 of 95 people found the following review helpful By Finnegan on January 23, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My nephew who is in college had this item on his holiday gift list. When it was delivered to my mailbox, I flipped through it before gift wrapping it... and I was totally sucked in to this book! Everyone in our house passed this book around that night randomly selecting paragraphs or quotations to read aloud. We laughed at the silliness of it all.

The title makes it sound like it could be offensive - one of my initial thoughts, and the reason I started perusing the contents. If it is considered offensive, at least it offends everyone equally across the board. No group is exempt. It is actually based on a course about white supremacy taught by a college professor in the early 1900's - and then satirized to amplify how absolutely ridiculous and stupid bigots sound when they speak.

The gift was received with a lot of hugs and gratitude from my nephew who is sharing it with friends and colleagues.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Patrick M. Carroll on August 27, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book killed me. I laughed out loud so many times that my wife thought I was going insane. Of course, I thought about trying to explain to her what was so funny, but being Korean and having limited exposure to American culture, she wouldn't understand. I guess that should make me happy.

The book takes the nine races and looks at each one individually in a faux-19th Century quasi-scientific approach. It examines Hispanics, Jews, Whites, Indians and Injuns, Blacks, Asians, Merpeople, Arabs, and Gypsies. Need I say more? The glory of the book is that it catches you laughing at racist remarks but at the same time reminds you of how utterly ridiculous racism is.

The one thing that I would caution is that this book requires a decent understanding of American culture and history to get all of the jokes. There are some references to 80's pop songs, 60's musicians, and TV shows from the 40's and 50's.
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40 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Philip Fernbach on January 8, 2008
Format: Hardcover
In case you're worried that C.H. Dalton plays favorites, let me allay your concerns. Every race, gender, ethnicity and even species you can think of is skewered in this book. Dalton's comments are often as incisive as they are funny. At the end of the book you are left not only with a ton of laughs but also with a real feeling of the absurdity of racism.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Fredrick J. Beondo on August 9, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This book has a certain amount of truthiness to it, and as it was (allegedly) written by a member of The Colbert Report's writing staff, there should be no true surprise.

But, bypassing all that, it is almost like coming across some alternate reality history book, where all the unvarnished discriminatory natures seen and known all our lives had actual factual backup. Many times during my reading of this book, I had to stop reading because I had to wrap my head around a statement about some racial group that made my head hurt, both from shock and to keep from bursting out loud in an inappropriate place (like a morning rush-hour train) especially since I made no attempt to cover the book's title.

I can see why some people would totally trash this book, if you read it as a straight book, but it makes such a device of more or less telling you straight out this is not going to be a serious discourse on racism, that if you don't GET that, you are as dumb as this book thinks you are.

I was recommended this book by a friend of mine in the military, who was turned on to it by a member of his unit (who happens to be a prominent member of one of the many non-White races described within), who took to quoting from it out loud at random. Believe me, as (or, if) you read this book, you will see many quotable quotes, just be sure you know what kind of company you keep, because some of these statements, out of their humorous context, could get you hurt....

I broadly recommend it, just be sure to read with an open mind and sense of humor, or you'll miss the point.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Simmons on July 3, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book will either turn you into a complete racist or make you completely hate racism but either way, it's an incredibly funny read.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By R. Gunther on January 8, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This book touches on the most important racial issues of the 19th and 20th centuries (there is no doubt in my mind that after this book is consumed by the 21st century masses there will no longer be racism). After reading the entire masterpiece in one sitting, I was ready to interact more intimately with all of mankind. If knowledge is the key, then C.H. Dalton is the "skeleton master". A must read.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Richard Cumming on February 13, 2008
Format: Hardcover
The author, Dalton, is a fake. He does not exist. He is the creation of the humorist Sam Means and this parody of a form of book from a century ago was written to jangle the nerves and tickle the funnybones of anybody with a self-deprecating sense of humor. Nothing and nobody is sacred here.

Some people won't get it. Real racists will love it for all the wrong reasons. It is brutally sarcastic. Over the top. Demeaning. Wicked. Raunchy. I laughed at myself for liking it.
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45 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Diogenes T on January 11, 2008
Format: Hardcover
A Practical Guide to Racism offers pitch-perfect satires of racism of every stripe. Humor of the Sarah Silverman variety is blended with Dadaist absurdism and its close sibling: the scientific racism of the nineteenth century (a helpful appendix compares the skulls of members of dozens of races to the skull of Friedrich Schiller). The blustery narrator Dalton parrots and exaggerates all of the brutish and inane things that men have ever said of one another. Not for the faint of heart, but then, as this book amply demonstrates, neither is real life.
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