550 of 595 people found the following review helpful
Buoyantly profane, actually thoughtful, supremely funny,
This review is from: America (The Book): A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction (Hardcover)
Jon Stewart and his Daily Show writers would have you believe this is humor masquerading as a "fake" civics textbook, but they undersell themselves. It's both funnier and smarter than that premise. It actually does spell out, chapter by chapter, the workings of the branches of government, the election process, and the role of journalism in creating and destroying all these (complete with in-class exercises and homework!)
If you're a fan of the show, you will enjoy listening to Stewart riff on journalism's loss of integrity, to Samantha Bee's apologetic asides about "do you mind if I tell you how we do it in Canada?", Ed Helms' presentation of his qualifications to be Supreme Court justice, etc. The book is, however, not just a rehash of pieces from the TV show; the book form allows the writers to make their favorite comedic jabs against our system's foibles with more historical and literary support. (Who knew, for example, the role that the rivalry between newspaper magnates William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer played in instigating the Spanish-American war?)
Coming from any source but the Daily Show, this premise might have been tedious, but from this team it is consistently and hysterically funny. Free of the time and vocabulary limits of TV, they really cut loose. The seven-dirty-words-you-can't-say-on-television here are put to good use, amended by such popular modifiers as bat, horse, bull, and mother. So don't bring it home to the kiddos, or listen to the audiobook on your mini-van stereo, and avoid it altogether if you don't yourself throw a good hearty @*$%&% around every now and then. But remember the best, funniest lines about the preservation of democracy and repeat these lessons to your kids. It's funny and important stuff.