Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Marching Morons” as Want to Read:
The Marching Morons
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Marching Morons

3.55 of 5 stars 3.55  ·  rating details  ·  199 ratings  ·  19 reviews
Kornbluth's nickname, during his tragically short life, was "the Great Tale-Twister." He could take a common SF theme and stand it on its ear. Satirical, witty, startling - a delight to read lo these fifty years after his demise.

CONTENTS:
The Marching Morons;
Dominoes;
The Luckiest Man in Denv;
The Silly Season;
Ms. Found in a Chinese Fortune Cookie;
The Only Thing We Learn
...more
Paperback, F760
Published 1963 by Ballantine (first published 1959)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Marching Morons, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Marching Morons

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 420)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Manny
C.M. Kornbluth was a talented pulp SF writer, who came up with a remarkable number of good ideas during his short life. The title story is one of the best ones. Intelligence is largely inherited, reasons Kornbluth, and stupid people tend to have more children than smart people. Ergo, the average level of intelligence will decline over time. Moreover, stupid people tend to have children with stupid people, and smart people tend to have children with smart people. Corollary: the human race will di ...more
Paul
“You were blind, selfish stupid asses to tolerate economic and social conditions which penalized child-bearing by the prudent and foresighted. You made us what we are today, and I want you to know that we are far from satisfied.”

Cyril Kornbluth was a genius who learned to read at 3 and was writing his own stories by age 7. Had Karma not decreed that he drop dead at a train station at age 35, he might have been one of the greatest sci-fi authors of all time. The Marching Morons is the story of “H
...more
Amelia
A pretty repulsive book in many respects, but there were bits that were quite funny -- and which rang disturbingly true. I think that the author must have been very angry about "modern life" when he wrote this book -- back in the early 50s, I believe -- and there's a lot of resentment that shows through. It's a short book, a novella, set in a very far distant future, where the troubles of the world are blamed on decisions made by people in the 20th century.

I did love the contrast between the ope
...more
Christian
Social satire that eerily resonates the denigration of our modern culture through technological advancement. The titular story inspired the Mike Judge film, IDIOCRACY, a movie shelved for a very long time because the studios deemed it "too stupid" for audiences. The main argument of THE MARCHING MORONS and IDIOCRACY by-proxy is that the people with sub-normal intelligence are outbreeding those of average-to-above-average intelligence, and that this trend has broad social implications. Mainly, th ...more
Angela Chiffy
Outstanding short story about blind conformity, ambition turned to avarice, and most other modern day vices. Highly recommended!
Alex
the whole concepts of dysgenics. a good short sci fi and I liked how Idiocracy took the concept from the novel further
P D
(Got the single story, Kindle download)

The foreword mentions this story was rather controversial because of the comparisons to eugenics...but the author comes off as strongly against that attitude. There are some interesting nuances here, although the writing reads a bit slipshod by modern standards. It's got a similar premise to Idiocracy, but in this case there is a decent population of smart people, they're just stuck fixing the idiots' mistakes all the time. (Which does raise the question of
...more
Scott Corbin
Apr 19, 2008 Scott Corbin rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone with a sense of irony
I remember running across this already 20 year old book about a future where the biggest catch phrase would you buy that for a dollar?, and thinking that it's almost that bad. Now popular culture has exceeded the vapidity Pohl imagined. I've got to borrow this from the library soon. I couple of his stories in various collections, along with F. Pohl, got me in a trap of reading only Sci-Fi for at least 8 years.
Jeremiah Johnson
I really liked this story about the possible future if we continue to dumb down society. I am a big fan of anything that doesn't have a happy ending, and this certainly didn't disappoint there.
It is easy to see that Idiocracy was inspired by this short. If only stupid people would become aware of these potential problems and stop breeding...
Alex
A chilling but important story. I remember reading this years ago. This is what happens when the intelligent producers of everything used are overrun by the morons who demand to use them. "Would you buy it for a quarter? Ha, ha, ha, ha!"

It is not a pleasant outcome but an important warning.
Sara
Great book, and especially profound for something written in the 50's. The juxtaposition of Hitler and the saleman is brilliant and daring considering that the war had not been over long.

And it espouses Green Day's sentiments about 60 years early. "Only stupid people are breeding."
Aaron K
Not the usual style or genre I am used to reading. It reminds me of the movie Idiocracy (I'm assuming the movie was based off this), which I loved, but the flow of the story didn't work for me too much. I may have another read, as it is a short novella.
Mark C
An almost identical setup to the movie IDIOCRACY (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0387808/?...) - which was likely inspired by this story - this is no comedy. Or even good satire. It's really a reprehensible meditation on an "ultimate solution".
Steve
I've been meaning to read this for some time. A big disappointment from what I expected, but the general idea of a shrinking gene pool is certainly still a great idea for a novel.
Pavel
Short. Close resemblance to Idiocracy, but more twisted.
Tanya
Really short, but a great story
Harry Dewulf
A must-read if you are alive in 2011.
Sam Bauman
Fun short scifi.
Amy
Amy added it
Dec 15, 2014
Mary G Busenbark
Mary G Busenbark marked it as to-read
Dec 07, 2014
Diana
Diana marked it as to-read
Dec 06, 2014
Cheryl Lindstrom
Cheryl Lindstrom marked it as to-read
Nov 29, 2014
Taylor Browne
Taylor Browne marked it as to-read
Nov 25, 2014
Jennifer
Jennifer marked it as to-read
Nov 25, 2014
Victoria A. Crawford
Victoria A. Crawford marked it as to-read
Nov 25, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 13 14 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Goodreads Librari...: B005QQO9SM 3 89 May 20, 2013 03:06AM  
  • The Dystopia Chronicles (Atopia, #2)
  • Wasp
  • Pilgrimage to Earth
  • The Glamour
  • The View from Serendip
  • Concrete Volume 5: Think Like A Mountain
  • A Life for the Stars (Cities in Flight, #2)
  • The Year's Best Science Fiction: Twenty-Seventh Annual Collection
  • Unexpurgated Code
  • Lucretia
  • The Demon Princes
  • Polymath (Zarathustra Refugee Planets, #2)
  • Sleeping Around: Secrets Of A Sexual Adventuress
  • Dannii: My Story
  • Close to Critical (Mesklin, #2)
  • The Crossroads of Time
  • Everything Explained Through Flowcharts: All of Life's Mysteries Unraveled Including Tips for World Domination, Which Religion Offers the Best Afterlife, the Secret Recipe for Gettin' Laid Lemonade
  • The Galaxy Primes
2768688
Cyril M. Kornbluth was born and grew up in Inwood in New York City. As a teenager, he became a member of the Futurians, the influential group of science fiction fans and writers. While a member of the Futurians, he met and became friends with Isaac Asimov, Frederik Pohl, Donald A. Wollheim, Robert A. W. Lowndes, and his future wife Mary Byers. He also participated in the Fantasy Amateur Press Asso ...more
More about C.M. Kornbluth...
The Space Merchants (The Space Merchants #1) The Best of C. M. Kornbluth The Syndic His Share of Glory: The Complete Short Science Fiction of C. M. Kornbluth Not This August: The Defender

Share This Book