Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Review: America (The Book) A Citizen's Guide To Democracy Inaction

Very rarely is the timing on me listening to a book on tape as good as it was with my most recent completion: Jon Stewart's America: A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction. I was listening to the book during the recent election and I had just finished a a terrific and heavy biography. Finding something both laugh-out-loud funny and relevant to the times, was perfect.

The book on CD really is funny. Jon Stewart narrates, and he has help from the rest of the Daily Show cast, which makes for an entertaining listen. With topics ranging from the history of democracy to how bad it is in the rest of the world, I pretty much laughed my way through the entire book.

Jon even manages to use humor to push some of his political ideas, no surprise there. However, what was surprising, is where he fell out on the spectrum. I was expecting lots of right wing bashing, but in the end, he was more interested in pointing out the general flaws of the whole system. It's not so much Democrats or Republicans who will be disappointed in his book, but people who think that the status quo is working just fine.

It's the people who can look at our democracy and be proud that we only have two parties in the system and such low voter turn out. If you can stand back and see the flaws in the system, you should have no problem laughing along with Jon.

A word of warning: this book has an awful lot of cussing. So, it's not for kids. Besides, kids may have a hard time separating out when he's joking and when he's trying to make an important point.

As comedy books go, it's among the best I've ever read. I give it a 7.8/10 for being a source of many a laugh. It earned extra points for using humor as a way of approaching important issues.

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