With the presidential race getting more and more heated by the day, every major news network is keeping busy with fast paced stories on every political debate, poll, and controversy. Even with the serious political problems we are either facing or about to face, it’s important to find time to laugh. The political satirists of our day have always done a great job making us laugh at important issues. In such turbulent times, their services are perhaps needed now more than ever. Check out our picks for the best books written by the masters of political satire.
I Am America (And So Can You!) by Stephen Colbert
For the many Americans who miss the former Colbert Report, here is Stephen Colbert’s printed masterpiece. Published in 2007, I Am America (And So Can You!) pokes fun at the literary works of some of the more conservative political pundits such as Bill O’Riley and Sean Hannity. Colbert stated that he “forced himself” to read books by such authors as references for his work. While the book discusses what he considers to be among the most important problems facing the country today, his arguments are humorous as only he can make them, highlighted by red margin notes that feature reactions and counterpoints to his statements. As one may glean from all this, the book is very similar to the show that made Colbert famous. In 2012, it was followed by a sequel titled America Again: Re-Becoming the Greatness We Never Weren’t, which was almost an exact continuation of its predecessor. The audio recording of the book earned Colbert a Grammy award.
The Truth (With Jokes) by Al Franken
Some of the best book titles are those that get directly to the point. Such is the case with Al Franken’s work The Truth (With Jokes). Focused on the 2004 presidential election, it explores the political strategy engineered by the republican party that ultimately led to their victory. Franken also discusses the possible downfall of the party and makes some other bold predictions about the future of the country. This book was preceded by Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right, which was one of the cornerstones of the “liberal backlash” of 2003. Both of Franken’s works made many people laugh during dark political times.
American (The Book): A Citizens Guide to Democracy Inaction by Jon Stewart
Jon Stewart has been greatly missed by many after his recent departure from network television. You can still enjoy is humorous work, though. He’s published two books which, like those of his friend Stephen Colbert, are very similar to his show that came first. Assisted by other writers from The Daily Show, Stewart presents the book as a satirical high school civics textbook, making fun of the American political system and mocking academic history books and study guides. He also asks seemingly crazy questions and even provides such “class exercises.” In 2010, Earth (The Book): A Visitor’s Guide to the Human Race which serves as a satirical traveling guide for anyone visiting earth after the demise of humanity. Both were more entertaining than any text or travel book I have ever read.
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