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Our Dumb Century: The Onion Presents 100 Years of Headlines from America's Finest News Source

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  12,202 ratings  ·  129 reviews
The Onion has quickly become the world's most popular humor publication, misinforming half a million readers a week with one-of-a-kind social satire both in print (on newsstands nationwide) and online from its remote office in Madison, Wisconsin.

Witness the march of history as Editor-in-Chief Scott Dikkers and The Onion's award-winning writing staff present the twentieth
Paperback, 164 pages
Published March 23rd 1999 by Three Rivers Press (first published March 23rd 1998)
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Community Reviews

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Average rating 4.18  · 
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 ·  12,202 ratings  ·  129 reviews

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Start your review of Our Dumb Century: The Onion Presents 100 Years of Headlines from America's Finest News Source
Aug 28, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
J.G. Keely
Oct 24, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: politics, reviewed, humor
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.
Kaethe Douglas
Jul 08, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor
There's just nothing as amusing for a brief read as a made-up front page of The Onion. Good times.
Mar 25, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Aug 21, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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!
James Norton
Dec 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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.
Jan 14, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: humor
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
Jan 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
"Empire of Japan makes alliance with white supremacists in well thought-out scheme." - case closed.
April Hamilton
Mar 23, 2009 rated it liked it
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 ...more
Mike Bloom
Dec 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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.
Oct 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Profound, moving, relevant.
Jake Basner
Jun 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Best bathroom book of all time.
Ayne Ray
Oct 27, 2008 rated it really liked it
Proof that satire is alive and well in America.
Sep 19, 2014 rated it it was ok
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.
Sep 30, 2019 added it
“Our Dumb Century” is clearly a non serious play on how news lines can be quite dumb. The Onion shows this is in a super extreme and silly way that is very immature. In this satire, no problem, big or small, is safe. They plays jokes about natural disasters and man made disasters. One of their biggest focuses was WW2, it probably took up a quarter of the book which got a little boring because its basically the same thing. There are a lot of jokes about the time period which are always very goofy ...more
James Rozoff
Jul 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I bought this thinking it was a compilation of articles from The Onion, and was surprised it was all new material made to look as though it was a best of from an entire century. It is superbly well done. The Onion has had many fine moments but this may well be their finest.
Kristal Cooper
May 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Onion's satire is a cut above and this audiobook of humorous takes on newsworthy headlines and highlights from the 1900s does not disappoint. I found it to be absolutely hilarious and I can't wait to listen to it again. ...more
Suz Davidson
Jan 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
For fans of The Onion, this is a great collection of the best of their early material.
Coleman Wigger
Aug 25, 2019 rated it liked it
Some interest.
Jilly Hernandez
Jan 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Remember when you could tell The Onion headlines from actual ones? Heh, those were the days...
Flossmoor Public Library (IL)
Sep 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult-nonfiction
4 stars

- Ms. Jenn
Nate LaPrairie
Feb 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: humor
This is CLASSIC Onion hilarity
Mark Feltskog
Feb 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Simply indispensable for understanding our zeitgeist.
Jul 03, 2010 added it
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
Jul 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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 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
Holden Attradies
Aug 23, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: humor
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
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
Sep 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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.
T Campbell
Aug 30, 2013 rated it liked it
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 ...more
Oct 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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?
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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