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Stephen Colbert and Philosophy: I Am Philosophy (And So Can You!) (Popular Culture and Philosophy) [Kindle Edition]

Aaron Allen Schiller
2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Book Description

At the head of The Colbert Report, one of the most popular shows on television, Stephen Colbert is a pop culture phenomenon. More than one million people backed his fake candidacy in the 2008 U.S. presidential election on Facebook, a testament to the particularly rich set of issues and emotions Colbert brings to mind. Stephen Colbert and Philosophy is crammed with thoughtful and amusing chapters, each written by a philosopher and all focused on Colbert's inimitable reality — from his word creations (truthiness, wikiality, freem, and others) to his position as a faux-pundit who openly mocks Fox News and CNN. Although most of the discussion is centered around The Colbert Report, this collection does not neglect either his best-selling book, I Am America (And So Can You!), or his public performances, including his incendiary 2006 White House Press Correspondents' Dinner speech.


Product Details

  • File Size: 718 KB
  • Print Length: 289 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0812696611
  • Publisher: Open Court; Original edition (June 1, 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003S3RL4E
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #543,021 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

2.9 out of 5 stars
(11)
2.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
64 of 69 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I am Philosophy? August 20, 2009
Format:Paperback
I bought this book because I have other titles in the Popular Culture and Philosophy series and am a big fan of Stephen Colbert. I assumed that the contributors to this book would combine philosophy and themes from the show, but I turned out to be mistaken. A couple of the philosophers do indeed do that, but many took the opportunity to preach their own political agendas rather than analyze Colbert. I also question whether or not the philosophers contained herein watch the Colbert Report on a regular basis. A few cite specific episodes, but others seem to over-generalize. To that extent, I was greatly disappointed. Open Court Publishing missed a great opportunity here to really philosophically analyze the Colbert Report.

That being said, there are a few good chapters in this book (for example, Chapter 3, "Things that Make You Go 'What?'" by Roben Torosyan). If you are still interested, check this book out from the library.

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28 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought Provoking Read! October 15, 2009
By Larry
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A collection of essays, written by philosophers, that clarifies and provokes our sensibilities about the man, Stephen Colbert, his public persona, and our culture. Intriguing is the notion that the man's persona mirrors our culture, and the reflection reveals the day to day dogma expressed in our style of communication, our values, and our judgments. A quote from the book:

"....In his interview with Congressman Joe Sestak, Colbert captured the profound difference between Roosevelt and Bush when he attempted to conflate their perspectives by misstating Roosevelt's quip as follows: "hit them with a big stick and walk softly away". When Congressman Sestak respectfully corrected Colbert, his response was "semantics"..." While Roosevelt's famous quote "walk softly and carry a big stick" was wildly misstated, Colbert's expression of childish bravado and egocentrism trivializes the difference in a humorous and satirical fashion. The book provides example after example of Colbert's verbal missteps deployed as comedy, revealing a side to our culture that we prefer not to confront with serious debate.

What I found most intriguing about the book were comparisons between ancient philosophers and Colbert, suggesting that Colbert may be our modern day Plato: "Plato's irony was deep, dark and disdainful. He despises his audience for their self-satisfaction. But if the Colbert-Socrates comparison is apt, shouldn't we imagine Plato wringing his hands and laughing at Socrates' unsuccessful attempts to lead Athenians out of the cave? Doesn't he regret Athen's failure at the same time that he takes pleasure in observing and mocking it's absurd self-satisfaction?..... Perhaps we should ask whether the real Stephen Colbert behind the ironic mask on the Colbert Report, is America's Plato.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
Who knew a spinoff on a second rate cable network could have such an impact? "Stephen Colbert and Philosophy: I Am Philosophy (And So Can You!)" approaches the character Stephen Colbert, the man behind the character, and how the Colbert Report has had quite the impact on modern society and politics despite being admittedly nothing more than a comedy show. "Stephen Colbert and Philosophy" is another fine addition to the pop-culture and philosophy series, sure to please fans of both 'The Report' and the book series.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing September 9, 2014
Format:Paperback
To call Colbert amazing and profound is to understate it a great deal.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not the book I was looking for January 5, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Not the book I was looking for so settled on it. Expecting it to be a positive book. Very negative. Won't finish reading.
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars So clever November 24, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Apparently I just can't stand this guy. I got about half way through the book and tired of the cleverness. Done with it.
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