Dec 27, 2007

Book Review: I Am America (And So Can You!)

Colbert, Stephen
New York: Grand Central Publishing, 2007

Those of you who are in withdrawal due to the cessation of production of the Comedy Central program The Colbert Report during the writers' strike will find your fix in Stephen Colbert's first tome. I Am America (And So Can You!) is a highly entertaining, occasionally off-color, look at the modern day United States, coupled with Colbert's answers to the problems facing the country.

Colbert, for those unfamiliar with his shtick, parodies conservative television hosts like Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity. The real genius of Stephen Colbert, though, is that viewers can never really be sure when Colbert is putting them on, and the line between parody and persona is often blurred. The book is filled with nuggets of reactionary wisdom such as this:
If there's a bigger contributor to left-wing elitist brainwashing than colleges and universities, I'd like to see it. There's an old saying, "A little knowledge is a dangerous thing." Which means a lot of knowledge must be a really dangerous thing.
Be sure also to read the text in the margins and the footnotes of I Am America, for some of the funniest material appears here, some of which parallels the Colbert Report's "Wørd" segments. Colbert's book provides several hours of hilarity, and if you limit yourself to ten pages a day, you might survive until The Colbert Report returns to the airwaves.


mud_rake said...

Thankfully there are folks like Colbert who can give us a lift as we live the nightmare that the Bush/Cheney septennial has created.

engineer of knowledge said...

A lot of truth in jest.

historymike said...

Mud Rake:

There is much to be said for laughter, even in the darkest of hours. If nothing else, it can stave off insanity.

historymike said...

Engineer of Knowledge:

Yes, one of the ways in which Colbert is most effective is in highlighting hypocrisy and absurdity. Admittedly, each of these quantities can be found on the political right AND left, but Colbert's character also subtly highlights some of the failings of the supposed "opposition" party we call the Democrats.

microdot said...

On the rare occasions I get to see Colbert, I am struck by his obvious brilliance.
To those of us who know what he is doing, he is hilarious.
To those who don't...he is like an intellectual stealth bomber!