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America (The Book): A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction (Teacher's Edition)

4.02 of 5 stars 4.02  ·  rating details  ·  71,938 ratings  ·  1,227 reviews
For everyone who was too cheap to buy the hardcover, the blockbuster, award-winning #1 New York Times bestseller is now in trade paperback-with 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.Including:Historical inaccuracies, g ...more
Paperback, Teacher's Edition, 227 pages
Published September 25th 2006 by Warner Books (first published May 18th 2004)
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A People's History of the United States by Howard ZinnMe Talk Pretty One Day by David SedarisAmerica (The Book) by Jon Stewart1776 by David McCulloughAssassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell
The Daily Show Reading Club
3rd out of 317 books — 185 voters
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This American Life
10th out of 98 books — 37 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jason Koivu
America (The Book) is not the Daily Show, but it's damn close.

This is one of those cases where it might seem like a good idea to listen to the audiobook and hear the actors' deliveries in order to mimic the feeling of watching the tv show as much as possible. However, then you'd miss out on the high school textbook mock-up layout and that's missing half the point.

A Citizen's Guid to Democracy Inaction is modeled after a civics class text replete with horrible study guides, misguided questions,
Jan 04, 2008 Jessica rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: resident aliens studying for citizenship
I really associate this book with the lead-up to and outcome of the last presidential election, and so while I remember really enjoying this a lot at the time I read it, every time I look at it now I get a heavy, sick feeling deep in my bowels, and I kind of feel like killing myself. It makes me flash back to riding the train around for work on November 3, 2004 with one of the most soul-crushing, emotionally annihilating hangovers I've ever had in my life. I remember staring at an excerpt of Yea ...more
I know Jon Stewart, The Daily Show, and Colbert are more honest and reliable news sources than the rest of the media, I just don't believe it.

Ironically, it is that same gap between knowledge and belief that has resulted in this sad state.

the reactionary, opinionated pundits keep talking down to these little basic-cable comedy shows, but the fact that their feathers are so ruffled shows that they are afraid, and that they consider this to be as serious as the rest of us.

Why is Stewart the journa
Published on my book blog.

I'm a big fan of Jon Stewart and The Daily Show, but for some reason I'd never felt curious to read any of their books until this year. I considered starting with Earth (the book): A Visitor's Guide to the Human Race, but thought I'd go through this older one first.

I have to admit, when I started I was a bit taken aback. I don't know what I expected, but the first chapter ("Democracy before America") was written with such an unapologetic disregard for History that I cou
Pris robichaud

I Laughed, I Cried,, I Wept A Little, and Laughed Again, 19 Nov 2006

"This book has many fine qualities, but its cavalier disregard for accuracy of quotations, its insufficient scholarly documentation, its often quixotic use of illustrations, and its frequent usage of inappropriate language and word choices all detract from its virtues. With just a little more attention to detail, (well, in some cases, considerably more attention to detail), this book would stand as a first-rate addition to the
Mike Hankins
I must admit, I’m quite a fan of Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show. In a sea of ridiculous immature and unethical news reporting brought to us by the big corporations, Stewart is not only hilarious, but often offers key insight. It is sad to me that a comedy show, brought to us by the same network that thought prank-calling puppets was funny, has risen to be one the most insightful sources of news and politics. That said, America (the Book) held great promise for me. Unfortunately, it fails to delive ...more
I listened to the audio version of this book on both legs of a cross-country trip. I'll warn others who are thinking of doing the same that you will either be stifling your laughter to not bother your neighbors, or you will be laughing out loud and looking mighty strange. Hearing Jon Stewart's narration of the text, with his perfect timing, made this a very enjoyable listen. Some of the humor just came from crassness i.e. the thought of Patrick Henry calling someone "fucknuts," but for the most ...more
If you are at all familiar with The Daily Show With John Stewart, then you pretty much know what this book will be like. Two notes:

(1) The book is also a parody of school textbooks, from the obvious (and great) "Classroom Activities" at the end of each chapter to more subtle touches like the bold text used for key vocabulary words.

(2) There is a fair amount of profanity, sometimes used well but sometimes a jarring attempt at a cheap laugh.
Sep 20, 2007 Suz rated it 1 of 5 stars
Shelves: culture
I got this as a gift because my friend knew I love Jon Stewart. If I had picked it up at a bookstore and perused a few pages I wouldn't have bought it. It was ok and at times humorous but it didn't really add anything to my life. I still watch his show here and there of course, but I wanted more from his book.
Kelly H. (Maybedog)
This book taught me many things. It taught me that American History and Government is very boring. It taught me that even an hilarious parody of American History and Government cannot make the subject interesting. It taught me that it's not easy to get a good posed picture of an eagle. It also taught me that I am even more ignorant of popular culture than I think I am because there were some jokes I didn't get. I also learned that Stephen Colbert can look adorable in almost anything, even sadoma ...more
Full Disclosure--I am addicted to The Daily Show. When I miss the show, I can be found at my desk at work sneaking a peek at the internet repeat. So this was absolutely the book for me. A totally entertaining look at the "citizen's guide of democracy inaction". Lots of moments when I found myself laughing out loud. That wouldn't be so bad, but again I was at my desk. I really need to get a grip on my behavior. Loved this book.
Try to do yourselves a favor and get your hands on the audiobook version. While the experience is quite different in the absence of the visuals (a BIG part of the book's humor), there's something to be said for hearing all of the DS's original cast reading passages of the book aloud. Most hilarious is Stephen Colbert's lessons for teachers/quiz questions at the end of each chapter. The audiobook made a long trip to Austin from Dallas that much faster! Beware! It might get you laughing so hard yo ...more
I'm a big fan of The Daily Show, and was very happy when I received this book as a gift. But, I actually couldn't do much more than flip through it, after trying to read the first 20 pages or so and being miserably disappointed.

In my opinion, Jon Stewart's wit, sarcasm and wry insight just doesn't translate well off the small screen and into print.
Nov 14, 2008 Shannon marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, lulz
I bought this book for five dollars from Borders. Yay for me. I started reading a bit, it's pretty hilarious. I love the faux textbook-esque style of it. I opened it up to a random page and read under a "Discussion questions" section "List the top 100 tv shows you would rather watch than the evening news". Hahahhhaha. Awesome.
Jackie "the Librarian"
Sep 20, 2007 Jackie "the Librarian" rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Liberal leftists like me
Shelves: humor
Very funny, sad but true look at our screwed up, dysfunctional government. I only give it 4 stars because the delivery of the humor by my inner voice wasn't nearly as good as Jon Stewart's on the show.
When does the movie version come out?
Sarah Bauer
I'm only to chapter 4, but I'm LOVING this. A: It's good to be reminded of our past B: reading the history of our country with Stewart's dry, sarcastic tone is AWESOMELY entertaining. Very fun.
I was all for this book. It was VERY funny and quite entertaining, until I saw pics of all supreme court justices faces photoshopped onto naked bodies. (Shudder)
Reid Harbin
Brilliant satire of a broken system. Some parts are just insanely funny
Love the show. Didn't enjoy the book. Just not funny.
A humorous and satirical look at our country, the ideals it was based on, those who founded it, and how it compares to other areas of the world.
Unless you are already an expert on America, democracy and everything pertaining to it, you will find yourself wondering whether the information contained in this book is the truth, or a joke. The answer to that question is, "yes." I had to resort to an internet search more often than I care to admit, but I found that I learned more by being prompted by
Will Crim
This book, not to sound like one of those who constantly praise every book they read, was the funniest book I have ever read. And another plus to reading this book was that I felt smart doing so. I love political satyre especially from the mind of Jon Stewart. In the very beginning John or apparently the corpse of Thomas Jefferson writes a foreword to the book. My favorite line in the foreward was "Sally may not like it, but as we used to say in the back parlours of 18th-century Paris, 'tough t ...more
I love the Daily Show and I loved this book, which literally had me laughing out loud. Which was sort of embarassing because it was at work. Written out in the style of your typical high school history text book, the book is engaging, and oddly truthful in many ironic ways.

The one problem I found in this book was that it tended to drag a bit in a few parts, specifically when sections became really fact heavy and didn't have that much humor in them. Part of the reason people want to buy/read this
Tristan LeMon
The book, "America: A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction", is a very interesting and humorous book that relates mainly to America's Politics and Economy. I enjoyed reading this book because I am a fan of History and I enjoy watching the news every night to learn what is happening in America and also in foreign countries. This book allows the reader to gain knowledge about our economy and political system, but in a different way then watching the news. Jon Stewart reveals information to his re ...more
Unintentionally procrastinated for a month on writing a review for this book, so it's definitely no longer fresh in my mind.

I can't help but compare this to Stephen Colbert's first book, I am America, which is so thick with satirical irony that if I listen too closely it makes my head hurt. America (The Book), in contrast, is laced with satire as well as just plain silliness, making it a lighter, more enjoyable read. I particularly loved the "educational" format of the book, particularly the di
Mark Farley
If anyone has not seen Jon Stewart's Comedy Central/More4 show, then why ever not? His prizewinning show scares the right wing media pundits into submission with his current influence on the young of America. Startling statistics show that rather than network news, the 18-25 bracket get all they need to know from Stewart's irreverence and pointing out of cronyism and stupidity in the corridors of the White House and the Senate. It's way funnier in a simple way with all the essential political fa ...more
A very funny, very profane satire of a history/ civics textbook written by the staff of the fake news show “The Daily Show.” This is my favorite (and the only serious) part.
“A free and independent press is essential to the health of a functioning democracy. It serves to inform the voting public on matters relevant to its well - being. Why they’ve stopped doing that is a mystery. I mean, 300 camera crews outside a courthouse to see what Kobe Bryant is wearing when the judge sets a hearing date,
This team does a great job with satire and manages to be self-deprecating, acknowledging that for all of the flaws in our democracy, one humorous book isnt going to help. In particular, I loved the rant on The Media, which is familiar to anyone who saw Jon Stewarts appearance on Crossfire. Someday my daughters are going to bring home lousy American History textbooks, and Im going to make them read this one. Not to inform them, but to contrast with the usual pablum, maybe even get them thinking ...more
Ana Rînceanu
I thought I would like this more, but I can't say it was a particularly memorable read. That's not to say the jokes were all bad or anything like that, it's just that overall the book fell flat for me in terms of humor. Being a person interested in history, there wasn't much new information to grasp, but I appreciated the discussion questions at the end of most chapters. Also, since this was an audio-book, it was pleasant to listen to while doing chores/ commuting.
This book is both informative (assuming you know how to see past sarcasm) and hilarious. I highly recommend it!

Disclaimer: I wish my husband, who is a history teacher, could share this book with his students, but it has too many swear words.

So parents, if you have a child that's not doing so well in history or government class and you want to find a way to engage him / her, buy this book. With the amount of swearing children are exposed to these days, I think this book offers far more benefits t
Liked it, but didn't love it. The funniest segments of the book were written by Samantha Bee, who does a dead-on version of a Canadian commenter (she's Canadian, of course, which helps!). The rest of it is wildly uneven in comedy quality, although on the whole it hits a bullseye. I think I just expected more after the level of The Daily Show's writing.
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pineapples 2 23 Feb 21, 2014 11:39PM  
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Jon Stewart (born Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz) is an American comedian, satirist, actor, writer, Pundit, and producer. He is best known as the host of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show and for his political satire.

Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See authors with similar names here.

Stewart started as a stand-up comedian, but later branched out to
More about Jon Stewart...
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