With a Foreword by Thomas Jefferson.
For everyone who was too cheap to buy the hardcover, the blockbuster, award-winning #1 New York Times bestseller is now in trade paperbackwith a new introduction, fully updated, and with equally unsettling nude photos of the newest Supreme Court justices, and a text corrected by the most reputable college professor we could find/afford.
Those familiar with Jon Stewart and his Comedy Central news/comedy program The Daily Show will recognize the style and humor of this book. Polls suggest students get more current event news from Stewart than any other source ("God help them and the US!" might be a typical Daily Show gloss on that fact), so what he does will have an impact on adolescents. A more systematic, comprehensive topic like American history certainly allows for some typical pointed Stewart humor, but it also calls for more sustained focus than he or his show is used to. As a result, some of the jibes here are more silly and slapstick than satirical. Be aware, too, that tone and language will definitely offend some (full frontal fake nude photos of the Supreme Court, anyone? C-SPAN drinking games?). Not exactly a history book, this aims, really, more to be a primer on the American political system, and the humor does nudge students to try separating fact from myth. Several features are clever and will help students learn despite their best intentions just to laugh. One useful feature is a professorial (University of Wisconsin, emeritus) overview of annotations/corrections on most pages. This lets the authors have their jokes and (a little) real history too. My favorite sections are various charts: e.g., Landmark Supreme Court Cases, What Kind of Government Best Suits You, Meet Your Lobbyists. I expect this book will be irresistible for teens if sitting out in a visible spot. It's got lots of color and art and pictures. But again, it's more Saturday Night Live (with worse language) than anything elsefor better and worse. Also included: a pullout poster on "The Shadow Government."