Republican Party Reptile

      P. J. O'Rourke
Republican Party Reptile

"I think our agenda is clear. We are opposed to: government spending, Kennedy kids, seat-belt laws, busing our children anywhere other than Yale, trailer courts near our vacation homes, all tiny Third World countries that don't have banking secrecy laws, aerobics, the UN, taxation without tax loopholes, and jewelry on men. We are in favor of: guns, drugs, fast cars, free love (if our wives don't find out), a sound dollar, and a strong military with spiffy uniforms. There are thousands of people in America who feel this way, especially after three or four drinks. If all of us would unite and work together, we could give this country. . . well, a real bad hangover." "To say that P. J. O'Rourke is funny is like saying the Rocky Mountains are scenic-accurate but insufficient. At his best he's downright exhilarating . . . Republican Party Reptile is as rambunctiously entertaining as a greased pig catching contest. If you can find a funnier writer than P. J. O'Rourke, buy him a brandy,...

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    On the Wealth of Nations

      P. J. O'Rourke
On the Wealth of Nations

Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations was first published in 1776 and almost instantly was recognized as fundamental to an understanding of economics. It was also recognized as being really long and as P. J. O'Rourke points out, to understand The Wealth of Nations, the cornerstone of free-market thinking and a book that shapes the world to this day, you also need to peruse Smith's earlier doorstopper, The Theory of Moral Sentiments. But now you don't have to read either, because P. J. has done it for you. In this hilarious work P. J. shows us why Smith is still relevant, why what seems obvious now was once revolutionary, and how the division of labour, freedom of trade and pursuit of self-interest espoused by Smith are not only vital to the welfare of mankind, they're funny too. He goes on to establish that far from being an avatar of capitalism, Smith was actually a moralist of liberty. As P. J. says, 'It's as if Smith, having proved that we can all have more money, then went on to...

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    Peace Kills

      P. J. O'Rourke
Peace Kills

With his latest national best seller, Peace Kills, P.J. O'Rourke casts his ever-shrewd and mordant eye on America's latest adventures in warfare. Imperialism has never been more fun.
To unravel the mysteries of war, O'Rourke first visits Kosovo: "Wherever there's injustice, oppression, and suffering, America will show up six months later and bomb the country next to where it's happening." He travels to Israel at the outbreak of the intifada. He flies to Egypt in the wake of the 9/11 terrorists' attacks and contemplates bygone lunacies. "Why are the people in the Middle East so crazy? Here, at the pyramids, was an answer from the earliest days of civilization: People have always been crazy." He covers the demonstrations and the denunciations of war. "A moral compass needle needs a butt end. Wherever direction France is pointing-toward collaboration with Nazis, accommodation with communists, existentialism, Jerry Lewis, or a UN resolution veto-we can go the other way with a quiet...

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    Eat the Rich: A Treatise on Economics

      P. J. O'Rourke
Eat the Rich: A Treatise on Economics

In the tradition of his contemporary classic Parliament of Whores, the man who The Wall Street Journal calls "the funniest writer in America" is back with Eat the Rich, in which he takes on the global economy. P. J. O'Rourke leads you on an hysterical whirlwind world tour from the "good capitalism" of Wall Street to the "bad socialism" of Cuba in search of the answer to an age-old question: "Why do some places prosper and thrive, while others just suck?" With stops in Albania, Sweden, Hong Kong, Moscow, and Tanzania, P.J. brings along his incomparable wit and finds hilarity wherever he goes.

Amazon.com Review

A conservative, prosperous, American journalist gadding around the world laughing at all the ways less successful nations screw up their economy--this might not sound like the recipe for a great read, unless you're Rush Limbaugh, but if that journalist is P.J. O'Rourke you can be sure that you'll enjoy the ride even if you don't agree with the politics. Although Eat the Rich is subtitled A Treatise on Economics, O'Rourke spends relatively few pages tackling the complexities of monetary theory. He's much happier when flying from Sweden to Hong Kong to Tanzania to Moscow, gleefully recording every economic goof he can find. When he visits post-Communist Russia and finds a country that is as messed up by capitalism as it was by Communism, O'Rourke mixes jokes about black-market shoes with disturbing insights into a nation on the verge of collapse. P.J. O'Rourke is more than a humorist, he's an experienced international journalist with a lot of frequent-flyer miles, and this gives even his funniest riffs on the world's problems the ring of truth.

From Publishers Weekly

Having chewed up and spat out the politically correct (All the Troubles in the World) and the U.S. government (Parliament of Whores), O'Rourke takes a more global tack. Here, he combines something of Michael Palin's Pole to Pole, a soupcon of Swift's A Modest Proposal and Keynsian garnish in an effort to find out why some places are "prosperous and thriving while others just suck." Stymied by the "puerile and impenetrable" prose of condescending college texts, O'Rourke set forth on a two-year worldwide tour of economic practice (or mal-). He begins amid the "moil and tumult" of Wall Street ("Good Capitalism") before turning to dirt-poor Albania, where, in an example of "Bad Capitalism," free market is the freedom to gamble stupidly. "Good Socialism" (Sweden) and "Bad Socialism" (Cuba) are followed by O'Rourke's always perverse but often perversely accurate take on Econ 101 ("microeconomics is about money you don't have, and macroeconomics is about money the government is out of"). Four subsequent chapters reportedly offer case studies of economic principles, except that Russia, Tanzania, Hong Kong and Shanghai all seem to prove that economic theory is just that. There's lots of trademark O'Rourke humor ("you can puke on the train," he says of a trip through Russia, "you can cook tripe on alcohol stoves and make reeking picnics of smoked fish and goat cheese, but you can't smoke"). There's also the feeling that despite (or maybe because of) his lack of credentials, he's often right. O'Rourke proves that money can be funny without being counterfeit. 150,000 first printing; $150,000 ad/promo; 26-city author tour. (Sept.) FYI: Also available as a Random House audio, $18
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.


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    The Enemies List

      P. J. O'Rourke
The Enemies List

Written with the same acerbic wit and infectious humor that has made P. J. O'Rourke one of the most popular political satirists of all time, The Enemies List will keep you howling and his enemies scowling. From Noam Chomsky to Yoko Ono, from Peter, Paul, and Mary (yes, they're still alive) to all the people who think quartz crystals cure herpes, from Ralph Nader to the entire country of Sweden, P. J. O'Rourke has created a roster of the most useless, politically disgraceful, and downright foolish people around. Although a rating system of S=Silly, VS=Very Silly, SML=Shirley MacLaine was ultimately cast aside, the distinguishing feature of the cluster of dunces presented here is silliness, not political subversion. The Enemies List began as an article in the American Spectator and, as readers contributed their own suggestions, quickly grew into a hilarious and slashing commentary on politicians and celebrities alike. Now they have been named, we just need to figure out what to do...

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    Holidays in Hell

      P. J. O'Rourke
Holidays in Hell

v5

America's bestselling political humorist finds humor in some of the world's most unlikely places.

P. J. O'Rourke travels to hellholes around the globe in "Holidays in Hell" looking for trouble, the truth, and a good time.

Now available from Grove Press, P. J. O'Rourke's classic, best-selling guided tour of the world's most desolate, dangerous, and desperate places. "Tired of making bad jokes" and believing that "the world outside seemed a much worse joke than anything I could conjure," P. J. O'Rourke traversed the globe on a fun-finding mission, investigating the way of life in the most desperate places on the planet, including Warsaw, Managua, and Belfast. The result is Holidays in Hell--a full-tilt, no-holds-barred romp through politics, culture, and ideology. P.J.'s adventures include storming student protesters' barricades with riot police in South Korea, interviewing Communist insurrectionists in the Philippines, and going undercover dressed in Arab garb in the Gaza Strip. He also takes a look at America's homegrown horrors as he braves the media frenzy surrounding the Reagan-Gorbachev summit in Washington D.C., uncovers the mortifying banality behind the white-bread kitsch of Jerry Falwell's Heritage USA, and survives the stultifying boredom of Harvard's 350th anniversary celebration. Packed with P.J.'s classic riffs on everything from Polish nightlife under communism to Third World driving tips, Holidays in Hell is one of the best-loved books by one of today's most celebrated humorists.

Amazon.com Review

No doubt about it: P. J. O'Rourke has a bizarre sense of fun. "What I've ... been," he writes in his introduction to Holidays in Hell "is a Trouble Tourist--going to see insurrections, stupidities, political crises, civil disturbances and other human folly because ... because it's fun." Forget Hawaii or the Poconos--O'Rourke gets his jollies in places like war-torn Lebanon where he is greeted at the border by a gun barrel in his face, or Seoul, just in time for election-day violence. Wherever he goes, however, O'Rourke takes his quirky sense of humor, laser eye for detail, and artful way with words: a Philippine army officer is "powerful-looking in a short, compressed way, like an attack hamster," and the Syrian army is described as having "dozens of silly hats, mostly berets in yellow, orange and shocking pink, but also tiny pillbox chapeaux.... The paratroopers wear shiny gold jumpsuits and crack commando units have skin-tight fatigues in a camouflage pattern of violet, peach, flesh tone and vermilion on a background of vivid purple. This must give excellent protective coloration in, say, a room full of Palm Beach divorcees in Lily Pulitzer dresses."

O'Rourke's flip, sarcastic style isn't for everyone, of course; the concept that anyone could find sightseeing in the Beirut or El Salvador of the 1980s fun might prove offensive to more than a few readers right off the bat. But love him or hate him, P. J. O'Rourke knows how to tell a good story, and if you like your travel writing laced with more than a little cynicism, Holidays in Hell could be just the book you've been looking for.

Review

'The first few pages of this book made me laugh so much I dropped it on my month-old baby... Holidays in Hell is a splendid read' EVENING STANDARD


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    Holidays in Heck

      P. J. O'Rourke
Holidays in Heck

Holidays in Heck takes the reader on a globe-trotting journey to far-reaching places including China, Kyrgyzstan, Afghanistan and the Galapagos Islands. The collection begins after the Iraq War, when P.J. retired from being a war correspondent because he was "too old to keep being scared stiff and too stiff to keep sleeping on the ground." Instead he embarked on supposedly more comfortable and allegedly less dangerous travels - often with family in tow - which mostly left him wishing he were under artillery fire again. The result is a hilarious and oftentimes moving portrait of life in the fast lane - only this time as a husband and father of three.


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