- Series: Running Press Miniature Editions
- Hardcover: 192 pages
- Publisher: Running Press Miniature Editions; Book and Access edition (May 12, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0762418664
- ISBN-13: 978-0762418664
- Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 3 x 1.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (257 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #944,877 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Our Dumb Century (Running Press Miniature Editions) Hardcover – May 11, 2004
Learn more about the top issues of this year's presidential race with these books sponsored by Wiley.Learn more.
Every Wednesday, work at Amazon.com--along with just about every other company connected to the fantastical "information superhighway" invented by Vice President Al Gore and actress Hedy Lamarr--grinds to a halt as employees hasten to read the latest issue of The Onion, America's most popular newspaper based in Madison, Wisconsin. But most of the paper's fans have started reading it only within the last few years, and are sadly unaware of The Onion's mighty journalistic legacy. To combat this cultural illiteracy, Editor in Chief Scott Dikkers and his writing staff have assembled this collection of great front pages from the last hundred years. Here is just a sampling of the headlines:
A New Century Dawns! McKinley Ushers in Bold New "Coal Age"
Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria Boasts: "No Man Can Stop Me"
AWESOME! Nation Wowed by Tremendous Hindenburg Explosion
Martin Luther King: "I Had a Really Weird Dream Last Night"
Clinton Denies Lewinsky Allegations: "We Did Not Have Sex, We Made Love," He Says
And those are just the headlines; the stories themselves are all masterpieces of the journalist's trade. Of course, readers with delicate sensibilities may find some of these accounts a bit too risqué, and perhaps even tasteless. (Among the potential offenders: Rosa Parks's decision to "screw this bus shit" and take a cab.) But if you're looking for an antidote to all the 20th-century hoopla promulgated by stuffed shirts like Peter Jennings and Harold Evans--not to mention the best history book since 1066 and All That--then Our Dumb Century is the one for you. --Ron Hogan --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
From Library Journal
The Onion, a weekly newspaper out of Madison, WI, has established a hugely popular presence online with its laugh-out-loud mixture of sophomoric irreverence and savage satire. This book continues the Onion's missionAfrom 1900 to 2000Awith mock front pages twisting each year's signal events. 1906: "Should U.S. Set Limits on Indian Slaughter?" 1915: "Henry Ford Unveils New Line of Anti-Semitic Autos." 1933: "Stalin Announces Five-Year `Everybody Dies' Plan." 1942: "Ladies, Negroes Momentarily Useful." 1956: "U.S. Sexual Repression Reaches Boiling Point." 1976: "Cambodia to Switch to Skull-Based Economy." 1998: "Drugs Win Drug War." Though some articles will offend the delicate and a few fail to fulfill the promise of the headlines, this is terrific stuff. Even the graphics and asides have bite, like the "Countries Overthrown by the CIA Today" list from a 1964 issue. For all public libraries and academic libraries concerned with political humor.ANorman Oder, "Library Journal"
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
Top Customer Reviews
If you haven't been clued in to what the Onion does, it is a dead-on, straightfaced parody of American newspapers. It is beautifully crude and sophomoric in a manner Mad magazine no longer aspires to, and for readers looking for some deathly funny satire in this politically-correct, can't-we-all-just-get-along, sissified age, it is a lighthouse in a stormy sea.
So what's Our Dumb Century about? It is a parody of those fin-de-siecle commemoratives most major newspapers put out last year, ignorant of the fact that we still have a year left in the 20th century.
The book allegedly reprints the front pages of the last 100 years of the Onion during critical times in the nation's history. The writers accurately ape the style of newspapers throughout this period, from the cluttered text columns of the early 1900s to the graphic-intensive layouts of today.
Of course it's the stories themselves that hit you where you live. 1902-"Republics Negroes Still Waiting for 40 Acres, Mule--Agriculture Secretary Faults Low Mule, Acreage Availability at Present." 1918-"Corpse-Eating Rats Now Largest Military Force in Europe." 1934-"FDR Creates 300,000 Jobs With 'Tunnel to New Zealand' Project." 1945-"Hitler Commits Suicide; Ravaging of Europe a 'Desperate Cry for Help', Say Therapists." Or my favorite from 1963-"Kennedy Slain by CIA, Mafia, Castro, LBJ, Teamsters, Freemasons--President Shot 129 Times from 43 Different Angles." Oliver Stone was right!
If you're up for slaughtering some sacred cows with a smile and have more of a sense of humor than your typical Thought Police apparatchik, this may be the book for you.
This book contains the most savagely keen and witty commentaries on American culture I have EVER read. Not only has this book consistently made me <literally> laugh so hard that tears came rolling from my eyes - but it also made me rethink some of my long held perspectives on U.S. history and world events.
Every concise, perceptive, hilarious article (and there are hundreds) is a masterpiece! Everyone with a sharp wit and sense of humor should read this book! I am giving it to all my friends (mostly because I want them to stop borrowing my copy! ).
Read it - I guarantee you will not be disappointed.
This book is not simply a "goof" on history. The writers really know their stuff. I mean REALLY know it. Each entry is the "front page" of The Onion (gee, we never knew it was THIS venerable...) from the 1900 to 2000 (okay, it came out in 1999, but you can stretch things). Not only are issues of the day dealt with in a hysterical manner (1955: Whites Invent 'Rock and Roll' -- New Caucasian-Based Teen Craze Sweeps America; 1945: WAR OVER! 50 YEARS OF NUCLEAR PARANOIA BEGIN TODAY!), but the typeface, the layouts of the pages, and the quality of the photos match the period. Find an old newspaper. Hold it up to the "equivalent year" in The Onion. It is a match.
Conservatives are blasted. Liberals are skewered. Apoliticals are tarred and feathered. Everyone gets their due in this volume.
Worse yet, you might even get an education reading this book. If nothing else you'll probably have to go look something up to just understand some of the jokes. I know I did...
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Yep, hilarious, through and through. Example : New invention ! Tele-vision! For highbrows who are sick of all that mindless drivel on the radio!. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
Didn't catch that it was a mini version and was so incomplete. Ended up throwing it away.Published 5 months ago by Gary
One of the most brilliant pieces of writing I've ever experienced. If you like history and have a sense of humor you will LOVE this book.Published 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
The amount of work that went into this is mind-boggling: front page after front page full of stories and stories. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Chunky Style
If you're a fan of the Onion's brand of satirical humor you'll have a great time going through this surprisingly content-rich book. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Occasional Amazon-er
1) Do you like laughing?
2) Are you not all that sensitive about America's past? Read more
This book is awesome and a little racist/sexist. What do you expect from news satire?Published 19 months ago by What_I_think