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Unusually Stupid Americans: A Compendium of All-American Stupidity Paperback – October 21, 2003

3.3 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

What’s been said about their work:

“Exceedingly amusing.”—The Washington Post

“Cruel but funny.”—Playboy

“Brilliantly stupid.”—The Wall Street Journal

“Like eating popcorn. You can’t stop.”—The Dallas Morning News

“You want stupid? Check this book.”—The Houston Chronicle

“Sinfully delicious.”—Fort Worth Star-Telegram

“Wickedly funny.”—Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

“Enormously funny.”—The Star-Ledger

“Fabulous.”—Elle

“Perfect on-the-john entertainment.”—Stuff

From the Inside Flap

A hilarious collection of lists, statistics, news items, quotations, and facts detailing stupid acts of Americans from all walks of life--by the authors of the bestselling "The 776 Stupidest Things Ever Said
Everyone knows that America is "the land of the free and the home of the brave," but sometimes that means we're free to be as bravely stupid as we want! In "Unusually Stupid Americans, Kathryn Petras and Ross Petras assemble choice bits of stupidity, U.S.A.-style, including
-the top seriously flawed American advertising moments, including Pacific Airlines' brilliant "You're scared of flying? So's our pilot!" ad campaign, which led the airline to bankruptcy within two months of the campaign's inception
-the Martin Luther King, Jr., celebration in Florida, where a plaque was un-veiled that was intended to honor the actor James Earl Jones but instead read, "Thank you James Earl Ray for keeping the dream alive" (an unfortunate slip-up, as James Earl Ray was King's assassin)
-and much more!
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The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Villard; 1st edition (October 21, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812970829
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812970821
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.6 x 7.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,836,969 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Bryan Carey VINE VOICE on May 10, 2004
Format: Paperback
Brother and sister act Kathryn and Ross Petras have made a name for themselves in the publishing business by writing books about the silly, the outrageous, and the incredibly stupid members of society. This book follows that trend with chapters on stupidity as it relates to government, law, business, education, entertainment, taxes, and other subjects.
Some of the quotes and acts of silliness presented here were committed by well- known entertainers, politicians, sports personalities, and other famous people and they make for some of the book's most memorable and funniest moments. Al Gore, Bill Gates, Justine Bateman, Bob Ney (Ohio Republican representative), and other members of the fraternal order of the rich and famous are quoted in the book at length, showing how they either made a silly- sounding comment or twisted the truth to get themselves out of trouble.
Not all of the comments and acts of zaniness involved in this book center around the well-to-do. There are plenty of quotes and acts of stupidity committed by ordinary people too. And some of them will have you rolling on the floor with laughter while others will have you a little bit concerned about the condition of Americans and politics in general. Most of the stuff included in this book is flat out funny with nothing further to contemplate. But other things make you wonder if certain laws and/or conventional wisdom have gone too far. Like the case of some kids in a school getting arrested for allegedly possessing and distributed an illegal substance that turned out to be a package of grape kool- aid. Or a woman who stole a firecracker from someone's home, mistook it for a candle, was injured when it blew up, and then sued the homeowners for not labeling the stolen good as a firecracker.
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Format: Paperback
With a title like this, I didn't know what to expect. And reading this book verified this. I laughed a great deal, but a lot of the material also made me think that perhaps we should consider this a warning. Are we Americans getting stupider? Given the material collected here (especially the "Prejudice" and "Government" chapters) I felt this might be evidenced. One thing I feel I should mention is that the authors are very evenhanded in skewering all sorts of people. There appears to be no "hidden agenda" in terms of exposing stupidity, which is very laudable. They say that stupidity happens regardless of party, color or creed. This is a good thing to see, by my standards.
Most important, though, these folks did make me laugh (and think). I enjoyed this book tremendously on both counts and do recommend it for others.
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Format: Paperback
There's a statistic that says that one out of every three people out there in the nation is stupid. Consequently, if you look to the left and then look to the right . . . and if either person isn't stupid . . . then you must be the one who is.

I thought of this when I read UNUSUALLY STUPID AMERICANS by Kathryn Petras and Ross Petras . . . this is a funny collection of lists, statistics, news items, quotations, and facts detailing stupid acts of Americans from all walks of life.

I laughed out loud at many of these . . . furthermore, they got me thinking about what if the authors included examples from around the world . . . methinks that they'd have enough material

for at least several books that I know that I'd certainly want to get.

What amazed me most was the fact that some of the "contributions" were from folks who otherwise were pretty bright . . . for example, award-winning adman Stan Freberg wrote the following-a full-page newspaper ad for a small Pacific Airline. Two months after the campaign

started, the airline went bankrupt. Perhaps the ad was involved.

Hey there! You with the sweat in your palms. It's about time an airline faced up to something. Most people are scared witless of flying. Deep down inside, every time that big plane lifts off that runway, you wonder if this is it, right? You want to know something, fella? So does the pilot, deep down

inside.

There were several other amusing tidbits; among them:

Three New Jersey townships--Upper Pittsgrove, Alloway and Quinton--in 1993 contracted for elevator inspectors, as per the orders of the state Department of Community Affairs (DCA). One problem: There are no elevators in any of the three towns.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I purchased this book for a trip to Europe and only once on the 11-hour flight did I find that the book has been scanned improperly (or whatever the mechanism is for getting it into a Kindle edition). Passages will stop, another passage will start, and without warning, the previous passage will eventually continue a few screens later. It happened frequently and enough that I could not continue reading the book. It seems like a great book and I'd love to read it someday, but DO NOT PURCHASE THE KINDLE EDITION!
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Format: Paperback
I thoroughly enjoyed this read as it is one of my favorite topics. But it's also nice to see that I am not alone in the position of noticing stupid in many places as which is done in this book.
Robert E. Milliken author of Stupid In Montana As America.
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