America (The Book)
Jon Stewart
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Buy *The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Presents America (The Book): A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction* online

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Presents America (The Book): A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction
Jon Stewart & the writers of The Daily Show
Warner Books
Hardcover
240 pages
September 2004
rated 5 of 5 possible stars

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This is the book that cynical children should have been given in high school - in fact, the book is designed to mimic a high school textbook. The attention to detail is amazing. The book is SO like high school textbooks that youíll feel the urge to shove it in a locker when youíre done and run off to the gymnasium for ritual humiliation (kids can be so cruel).

Each chapter is broken into such easily digested sections as:

  • The Making of Congress: Hot Bicameral Action.
  • TV: Shiny, Pretty TV
  • The President: King of Democracy
At the end of each chapter, there are discussion questions such as:
Given human fallibility, is objective reporting ever possible? Phrase your answer without indicating a bias toward one point of view or the other.
And such classroom activities such as:
Using felt and yarn, make a hand puppet of Clarence Thomas. Ta-da! Youíre Antonin Scalia!
At one time, when the book refers the reader to Schoolhouse Rock to find out how a bill becomes a law, the editor scrawled a note in the margin threatening to stop payment on the advance.

Interesting factoids abound:

Were you aware? -Though the president is never actually required to salute anybody, President George W. Bush does it regularly because itís one of the things he doesnít know.
The Dress the Supreme Court section was disturbing enough to Walmart that they refused to carry the book. If thatís not an endorsement, I donít know what is.

This is a fun read. You can read it cover to cover or just pick it up and look at the handy charts and graphs or the nicely provided tidbits in the margins. Although it was written to be read before the 2004 elections, most of the content will always be relevant.

If you enjoy The Daily Show, you'll devour this book, so have a bicarbonate handy.



© 2005 by Eric Renshaw for curledup.com.

buy *The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Presents America (The Book): A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction* online
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