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Our Dumb Century

4.17 of 5 stars 4.17  ·  rating details  ·  9,842 ratings  ·  116 reviews
Definitely not for the easily offended, Our Dumb Century was a New York Times #1 bestseller chronicling 100 years of American history with dry humor and cynicism. This Miniature Edition distills the brilliant wit and satire of the original from "America's Finest News Source." ...more
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published May 12th 2004 by Running Press Miniature Editions (first published March 23rd 1998)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Andrew
Aug 28, 2007 Andrew rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: my 88 year old grandmother on a respirator
This book is the best gift in the world, for two reasons. First, anyone you give it to will love it, and you have therefore given a successful gift to a loved one. Second, if the person who receives the gift does not like it, it's a sure sign that he or she is not someone you should have anything to do with, much less give a gift to. For more on how to join the national campaign to convince motel 6 to replace the bible with this book in every one of their fucking hotel rooms, please respond to t ...more
J.G. Keely
I recall an Onion article just after the 2000 election jokingly talking about how Bush was going to reverse the clinton years and pick up where his father left off. It talked about making tax refunds, starting a new war in Iraq, and running the economy down. It's rather frightening to think about it coming to the end of two terms. The world is a strange place; I'm surprised it's still here.
Robert
I think this book marked the peak for the Onion. It reviews headlines of the 20th century as they would have appeared if the Onion had been published since 1900. Some are laugh-out-loud funny, though as usual there tends to be much more hilarity in the headlines and accompanying photographs than in the articles themselves. Other Onion books are not as consistently amusing (including the recent "Our Dumb World"). "Our Dumb Century" succeeds as well as it does because it is a natural outgrowth of ...more
Kaethe
There's just nothing as amusing for a brief read as a made-up front page of The Onion. Good times.
April Hamilton
The Onion's sardonic take on current events and culture can be very funny in small doses, but in such a large anthology, The Onion increasingly comes off as one-trick pony. Most of its humor boils down to hyperbole - treating the unimportant as if it is of tantamount importance, thereby creating a critical commentary on the shallowness of popular culture. You don't have to read much of this book to get the point, and since it's mostly Onion fans who would buy this book in the first place, it see ...more
Mike Bloom
One evening at a hotel in Escanaba, Michigan, while on the road for work, a colleague and I sat around with a couple bottles from the brew pub where we had eaten dinner and read bits from this book out loud to each other. I don't remember ever laughing so hard. This collection of fake newspaper articles perfectly achieves what it sets out to do--it hilariously skewers everyone and everything from 1900 to 1999. If this book doesn't make you laugh, you need professional help.
Tom
As though the Onion had been around for the whole twentieth century. I think this is the funniest of the Onion books. Sample headlines:

1. 1951: "Morty and Betty Crocker Executed for Selling Top-Secret Cake Recipes to Reds."

2. 1905: "The Machine: Will it Replace the Chinaman."

3. 1939: "Hitler Neutralizes the Polish Menace."

Humor, history and social criticism. Really funny!
Linton
Man Ventures Outside Hatless

Martin Luther King: I Had a Really Weird Dream Last Night

FDR: The Only Thing We Have to Fear is a Decade-long, Crippling Depression

Man Walks on Fucking Moon

Christian Right Ascends to Heaven

-- Nobody does it better than The Onion
James Norton
This is satire at its best - satire of journalism, of history, of the self-important and often poorly informed "USA USA USA!" mentality. It covers much if not all of the ground as Zinn's "People's History," with the added bonus of a great deal more laughs.
Mckinley
Browsed through since there's really no way anyone would read this thick tome. "Headlines" and mock newspaper stories and layout page after page after page.
Ayne Ray
Proof that satire is alive and well in America.
Jake Basner
Best bathroom book of all time.
Cameron
Profound, moving, relevant.
Bryan
Why didn't I bring this to work today? I need a laugh...: As I sit here going on my 10th hour of work (more accurately, I'm waiting for some people to perform their jobs so I can finish mine), I'm wondering why I don't just keep my copy of this book in my desk.

The Onion's acerbic wit and sarcastic humor never fail to raise a fit of laughter out of me, and to have several hundred pages of it in one convenient parcel is one of God's little gifts to mankind.

This book is worth the full cover price
...more
Patrick Karamazov
I guess since this is listed on goodreads, and because it has been published and has an ISBN number, this counts as a real book. But it's actually just the front pages of the onion website. It doesn't even include the whole articles, just the front of them.

Well, since I read the onion on the website theonion.com almost every day, this book was a little extraneous. I already read almost all of thse things. But the main thing about it was that it only cost $3 on clearance at Borders. 3 fucking dol
...more
Holden Attradies
Holy hell was this a funny read! Anyone who is a fan of American history and a fan of humor I definitely suggest this read.

The book is pretty simple, just about every year between 1900 and 2000 get's one or more front pages from the onion. Of course, the onion wasn't really around during that time but this is what it would have looked like.

I think my very favorite entry from the entire book was from 1963, the last paragraph of which follows:

"Parker's death marks the sixth atomic-accident fatal
...more
Marilyn
Hilarious! Guaranteed funny unless you're too politically correct. Won't rate it higher because I haven't READ it - this is the kind of book you skim, and keep going back to when you need a laugh.
James
It’s a book written by the The Onion, it’s a collection of funny headlines, it’s meant to make you laugh and it does that pretty well. It’s not a story, it’s not real articles, it’s essentially a collection (compendium?) of The Onion headlines from their newspaper and website that covers the entire century. Hard to recommend for those on a budget, but if you can get it on sale and want something funny on your shelf grab this – however I would suggest The Onion’s Our Dumb World or perhaps the The ...more
Edward ott
ww1 and 2 headlines are hilarious.
T Campbell
The Onion has a sort of rhythm to its humor that becomes detectable with repeated exposure, to the point where it ruins some of the magic. And mocking the inverted period means that many if not most of its jokes are funniest in the headlines and gradually lose steam as the article goes on, sometimes coming back with a twist at the end but not reliably. For all that, it has a wonderfully unfiltered and observant perspective on modern American life, and the jokes in this book are jokes it's clearl ...more
Amy
Outrageously hilarious satire from The Onion, with a headline page for various historically significant events of the 20th century. It expects a certain amount of prior knowledge from its readers to understand the humor. Beyond the headlines themselves, reading the text of the articles is a delight, as is catching the smaller jokes (such as a "report" on a street fight between the Sharks and the Jets). Totally worth it for the WWII pages and the moon landing reports (and "transcripts!") alone.
Suleman Ali
The Onion's look at some of the big (and small) stories that hit the US during the 20th century.

Like all Onion publications, this was another hilarious take on the news and news reporting industry. 'Our Dumb Century' is brilliant with each page consistently funny.

As the title suggests, it is very US centric which is fine barring the odd story (more recent) that maybe arent as well known internationally, but despite this there were far far more hits than misses!

Brilliant!
Louisa
Having recently started a journalism internship and read more newspapers in a week than I possibly have my entire life, I started reading this book at the perfect time. And it's miniature! Doesn't weigh a thing. The satire is top notch, every story hilarious (I particularly enjoyed the Bill Clinton ones). Great job at parodying without sounding pretentious or desperate, The Onion.

Only complaint: More stories, please?
Monk
This is a fun coffee table book provided your guests have a sense of humor. In classic Onion style, the creators of the satirical newspaper company have presented alternate (and wholly inaccurate and/or irreverent) takes on world events of the past 100 years. The humor is biting and dripping with sarcasm, but it is almost criminally funny and has quite a bit of wit to it.
Abby
My husband gave this to me as a gift, and it is one of those gifts that keeps on giving! The humor is so detailed and brilliant, each page of the fake newspapers reflective of the writing/typeface/ads of that era.

Not to be too crude, but this is a great bathroom book! It's in our guest bathroom and we've received positive reviews from them as well!
James
Feb 19, 2008 James rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Adolescents and adults
I love the Onion - it's funny and thought-provoking and occasionally poignant (see its story about God's reaction to 9/11 - made me cry.) After a while most of the stories start to run together, so it's best in smaller doses, which is why I didn't give this five stars, but even so it's always good for a laugh and is fun to just open at random.
Jeffery
Laugh out loud. Read it again and again. My favorite headlines: "WA-: Germany invades [countries]"(headline continued on page 2), also "Holy ****! Man Walks on F****** Moon" and "Gigantic Metaphor Hits Iceberg, Sinks". Sometimes a bit too crass, but at least The Onion is an equal-opportunity offender.
Natalie
It's history, it's humor, and occasionally the two coalesce into something oddly frightening. There's an article written shortly after Bush's initial election in which he promises to undo all the good Clinton has done - in essence, destroy the economy, start another Gulf war, etc. It's pretty eerie.

Michael
This is The Onion at its best. Whether it's making fun of the casual racism and jingoism of the early part of the 20th Century or the casual racism and jingoist capitalism of its closing years, the articles are consistently funny. One of the best histories of the twentieth century I have read.
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58557
A United States comedy writer and filmmaker. He was a founding editor of The Onion, and current Vice President Creative Development for the publication. He co-owned The Onion from 1989–2001, and is the publication's longest-serving editor-in-chief, holding the position from 1988–1999 and 2005–2008.

He is the author or co-author of several best-selling humor books. He is also the creator and artist
...more
More about Scott Dikkers...
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