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Profiles in ignorance : how America's politicians got dumb and dumber
2022
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Brief Descriptions

"Borowitz argues that over the past fifty years, American politicians have grown increasingly allergic to knowledge, and mass media have encouraged the election of ignoramuses by elevating candidates who are better at performing than thinking. Starting with Ronald Reagan's first campaign for governor of California in 1966 and culminating with the election of Donald J. Trump to the White House, Borowitz shows how, during the age of twenty-four-hour news and social media, the US has elected politicians to positions of great power whose lack of the most basic information is terrifying. In addition to Reagan, Quayle, Bush, Palin, and Trump, Borowitz covers a host of congresspersons, senators, and governors who have helped lower the bar over the past five decades"-- - (Baker & Taylor)

A humorist examines the intellectual deterioration of American politics, from Ronald Reagan to Dan Quayle, from George W. Bush to Sarah Palin, to its apotheosis in Donald J. Trump. - (Baker & Taylor)

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * WALL STREET JOURNAL BESTSELLER * WASHINGTON POST BESTSELLER * Named One of 7 Best Nonfiction Books of the Fall by Kirkus Reviews

Andy Borowitz, “one of the funniest people in America” (CBS Sunday Morning), brilliantly examines the intellectual deterioration of American politics, from Ronald Reagan to Dan Quayle, from George W. Bush to Sarah Palin, to its apotheosis in Donald J. Trump.

The winner of the first-ever National Press Club award for humor, Andy Borowitz has been called a “Swiftian satirist” (The Wall Street Journal) and “one of the country’s finest satirists” (The New York Times). Millions of fans and New Yorker readers enjoy his satirical news column “The Borowitz Report.” Now, in Profiles in Ignorance, he offers a witty, spot-on diagnosis of our country’s political troubles by showing how ignorant leaders are degrading, embarrassing, and endangering our nation.

Borowitz argues that over the past fifty years, American politicians have grown increasingly allergic to knowledge, and mass media have encouraged the election of ignoramuses by elevating candidates who are better at performing than thinking. Starting with Ronald Reagan’s first campaign for governor of California in 1966 and culminating with the election of Donald J. Trump to the White House, Borowitz shows how, during the age of twenty-four-hour news and social media, the US has elected politicians to positions of great power whose lack of the most basic information is terrifying. In addition to Reagan, Quayle, Bush, Palin, and Trump, Borowitz covers a host of congresspersons, senators, and governors who have helped lower the bar over the past five decades.

Profiles in Ignorance aims to make us both laugh and cry: laugh at the idiotic antics of these public figures, and cry at the cataclysms these icons of ignorance have caused. But most importantly, the book delivers a call to action and a cause for optimism: History doesn’t move in a straight line, and we can change course if we act now. - (Simon and Schuster)

Author Biography

Andy Borowitz is an award-winning comedian and New York Times bestselling author. He grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, and graduated from Harvard College, where he became President of the Harvard Lampoon. In 1998, he began contributing humor to The New Yorker’s “Shouts & Murmurs” and “Talk of the Town” departments, and in 2001, he created “The Borowitz Report,” a satirical news column, which has millions of readers around the world. In 2012, The New Yorker began publishing “The Borowitz Report.” As a storyteller, he hosted “Stories at the Moth” from 1999 to 2009. As a comedian, he has played to sold-out venues around the world, including during his national tour, “Make America Not Embarrassing Again,” from 2018 to 2020. He is the first-ever winner of the National Press Club’s humor award. He lives with his family in New Hampshire. - (Simon and Schuster)

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Reviews Via Publishers Weekly

Publishers Weekly Reviews

New Yorker columnist Borowitz (editor, The 50 Funniest American Writers) delivers a quip-filled look at U.S. politicians who "turned ignorance from a liability into a virtue." Claiming that "not so long ago, it was less than ideal for an American politician to seem like a dumbass," Borowitz blames Ronald Reagan for showing, in the words of humorist Molly Ivins, "that ignorance is no handicap to the presidency." (As governor of California, Reagan once claimed that plants and trees produce more air pollution than chimneys and cars.) But at least Reagan could memorize a script; Dan Quayle, on the other hand, "spewed nonsense worthy of Lewis Carroll on opium." Borowitz also skewers Sarah Palin, who allegedly did not know that Africa was a continent. But the book's biggest target is Donald Trump, who once suggested that Frederick Douglass was still alive and that American patriots "took over the airports" during the Revolutionary War. Though Borowitz's inability to resist a pun can grow tiresome, he sheds light on the cultural and economic trends that gave intellectualism a bad name and identifies the political operatives—including Roger Stone and Bill Kristol—who facilitated the rise of ignorance. Fans of The Borowitz Report will gobble this up. (Sept.)

Copyright 2022 Publishers Weekly.

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