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Give War a Chance: Eyewitness Accounts of Mankind's Struggle Against Tyranny
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Give War a Chance: Eyewitness Accounts of Mankind's Struggle Against Tyranny

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  1,290 Ratings  ·  55 Reviews
In the spirit of his savagely funny and national best-seller Parliament of Whores, Give War a Chance is P. J. O'Rourke's number one New York Times best-selling follow-up. O'Rourke runs hilariously amok by tackling the death of Communism, sanctimonious liberals, and America's perennial bad guy Saddam Hussein in a series of classic dispatches from his coverage of the 1991 Gu ...more
ebook, 256 pages
Published December 1st 2007 by Grove Press (first published January 1st 1992)
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Raegan Butcher
Apr 12, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: pundits and bloggers
This guy is one of the funniest writers ever. I enjoy it when he pops off with lines such as describing the blandness of Dr Ruth as " fighting evil with room freshener."

I don't always agree with him on a lot of things but his writing style is such that I always learn something (!) and I always end up laughing out loud.Great stuff!
John Galt
May 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
PJ slays me. I wish I had read this when it was first published, since its all a bit dated. Still funny as hell.
Interesting book but pretty outdated.

P. J. O'Rourke is always good for a laugh, though, regardless of the material.
Richard Schwindt
Yeah, I lean centre left like a lot of people who read PJ and like a lot of people I love his books. His humour is difficult to resist and it probably says something that we centre lefty people laugh when we read about his travels and adventures. I suspect he speaks to the dark moments we all have, frustration with venal politicians, political correctness, etc. Still, he's funny, I read. This book finds him returning to campus, hunting in Canada and investigating environmental screw ups in the f ...more
2.5 As seems to usually be the case, hit-and-miss, and seemingly more on the miss end in this collection due to dialing up the bitter nastiness. Ah, the proud neo-Libertarian "humor". Man I hope he gets over the hard on he has for the Carters – I mean, I grew up inside the Beltway during the Carter administration, and I've never so much as heard of anybody with 10% the passion about them, much less solely of the ugly, mocking hatred variety.
Perry Whitford
Jul 08, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"No one has ever had a fantasy about being tied to a bed and sexually ravished by someone dressed as a liberal."

No indeed. Not even Casanova, the Maquis de Sade or Jane Fonda. But I feel sorry for anyone who has ever had the same fantasy about a neo-conservative. Does P.J. O'Rourke dream of being tightly restrained and horse-whipped by Paul Wolfowitz?

Like any decent thinking person, I don't agree with much of what P.J. O'Rourke writes. But like any person who likes a decent laugh, I love reading
"Give War a Chance: Eyewitness Accounts of Mankind's Struggle Against Tyranny, Injustice, and Alcohol-Free Beer" is a collection of P.J. O'Rourke's various writings from the late 1980's and early 1990's. If you grew up during the Reagan Years, you'll probably remember many of the stories in this collection from when they were current events--especially various foreign affairs stories (Iran-Contra, e.g.).

O'Rourke also takes jabs at famous books from the era (Lee Iacocca's autobiography, and a bo
Nov 20, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
More very funny stuff from PJ. The first parts of the book deal with his experiences in Eastern Europe and Russia, incl. prophetically his time in Georgia, after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Very good stuff.

Then it drags when he goes over to Kuwait during Desert Shield (1990 - early 1991). Mostly because there was nothing going on, and the military prevented them from reporting on the nothing going on.

Then he finishes strong with the aftermath of the crushing Iraqi defeat and their flight from K
Peter rock
this book is worth a look "i believe i speak for everyone in the room today when i say that we all wish to see the day that dictators and tyrants are no more"
president ronald regan
this is inh honor of the entire garrigan clan but especially theresa and john garrigan there parents mr and mrs garrigan who used to work at "sunrise house" and also john lawerence garrigans wife sarah garrigan and john's 2 sons micheal and jimmy garrigan. smile world america loves you we just want you to shower more
Hold onto your hats, we're in for a bumpy ride.
Some might find O'Rourke a war mongering apologist for the military industrial machine of mega-wealthy corporate USA. This is one of the reasons I like him. He wrote lot's of stuff for the Harvard Lampoon, until they became so politically correct they lost their sense of humour.
The facts never get in the way of a good story. The facts here have never been successfully refuted by lefty inclined mung bean sandal wearing peace lovers.
This is also fun
Walt Murray
Mar 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a fun book to read, which is odd for a book on war. O'Rourke describes, in his unique way, the first Gulf War (and various other subjects).

The review of the Jimmy and Roz Carter book, and the associated drinking game, are worth the price of the book. Thankfully he takes the time to expose Carter for the numbskull he really is. That is refreshing in a time when the mainstream media treat the second worst President of my lifetime like he is some foreign policy guru.

BONUS: he takes on the
Jun 13, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you are a bleeding heart, Al Gore, Oprah and Obama loving liberal, I don't recommend reading this book (though I really wish you would). And, just because I loved it, doesn't mean I'm a Republican either. I'm not. If you are sick of the left and right, I'd highly recommend digging into the psyche of P.J. O'Rourke. He may just change the way you vote in the next election. Non-party people unite! We may still have a chance.
Dan Ragsdale
Dec 30, 2011 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: just-for-fun
Notwithstanding its, shall we say, insensitive title, it hard not to want to read a book written by "one of the most quoted living men in the Dictionary of Modern Humorous Quotations."

So far I am finding this early nineties account to be a howlingly funny lesson in relatively recent history. Although his is clearly a dyed-in-the-wool conservative, no one in his sights, on the left, right, or middle road, is safe from his acerbic tongue lashings.
Vicki Cline
This is a collection of articles, many written for Rolling Stone magazine, mostly from 1989-1991. Many cover the first Gulf War. It's like stepping back in time 25 years - Saddam Hussein, the Soviet Union, Kuwait. It's kind of eerie, reading about what happened before the mess we're in now. At least O'Rourke is amusing.
O'Rourke is hilarious, but while he's a great demolitions expert on generalized stupidity, he's as effective at coming up with workable solutions as a U.N. task force on poverty. He seems to have an, "everyone and everything is stupid, except me and America, and I'm not so sure about us" outlook. Honest sure, but this man needs Jesus.
Mark Speed
Dec 24, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: satire
Whether you agree or disagree with P.J.'s views, you'll find his writing funny.

These are opinions, rather than facts. This is what the right wing in America has become - not factual arguments, but pleading rants. The worst of them rabble-rouse and spread misinformation. At least P.J. does it with a wry smile and a flash of wit.
John somers
A series of articles written by the worlds only funny republican written from strife torn parts of the world. He says lots of things I don't agree with but the way he says them is brilliant. Loved his coverage of the first gulf war and his article on Paraguay made me want to learn more about the history of the country.Excellent.
Jan 26, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comedy, politics
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 15, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The funniest old school Reagan Republican. His writings and observations are interesting as much and they are humorous. Some of this book is quite dated. But the inside look at the embattled parts of the world at that time and how they really functioned is interesting.
Nov 20, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: politics, historical
I would have given this four stars had I read it closer to when it was published. The bits on the recently collapsed USSR were interesting, but the bulk of the Gulf War coverage was not as intriguing.
I probably would have given this book 4 stars had I read it right after it was written in the early 90's. Having said that, it is still pretty damn funny.Books like these always remind me that history repeats itself.
Daniel Cross
Oct 03, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I know this book was written many years ago but I recently picked it up at a garage sale and I am glad I did. It's part humorous romp and part history lesson. I really enjoyed it and I plan to explore more of PJ's books in future.
Feb 21, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Only ok, some parts were funny.

Most of it I think I would have appreciated more if I had lived through the events he is thrashing.

Then again some parts were hilarious. At least the last bits about the war were transferable. I guess war doesn't change.
David lin
This book had a lot of political humor and gave the unheard side of the story. O'rourke is foul and curses a lot, but his points are proven and he is a very smart guy. This got me intrested in a lot of issues in the early-mid 90's
May 20, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: avid readers
i just picked it up as any other book to turn pages on. bu tto my astonishment, i found it genuinely funny and the o'rourke guy gets going against any one and everyone anywhere. very humorous and conveys a meaning attached along. suggested for all!
Feb 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was reading this book at a U.S. Marine base in Iraq when a senior officer rushed over to me and began reciting passages from memory, cracking up as he did so. Very few writers are that good. One of the greatest collections of first-person reportage of all time.
Aug 02, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
II couldn't even finish it. I like O'Rourke. He's an a**, but a smart and funny a**. But this book just annoyed me no end. I wanted to like it since I really liked "Holidays in Hell." Eventually I gave up on it.
Jan 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Any idea what a "foot impelled bi-directional transport asset" is? Read page 187 to discover what normal people (as opposed to the U.S. Army) would call it. An interesting look at the changing face of warfare and many of its inanities. Don't know why we bother?
James M.
Aug 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another great one by P. J.
Jun 14, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Agonizingly funny. O'Rourke's written humor is second to none.
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Goodreads Librari...: Incorrect Page Count for ISBN 0679742018 2 11 Oct 12, 2013 12:08AM  
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Patrick Jake "P. J." O'Rourke is an American political satirist, journalist, writer, and author. O'Rourke is the H. L. Mencken Research Fellow at the Cato Institute and is a regular correspondent for The Atlantic Monthly, The American Spectator, and The Weekly Standard, and frequent panelist on National Public Radio's game show Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!. Since 2011 O'Rourke has been a columnist ...more
More about P.J. O'Rourke...
“At the core of liberalism is the spoiled child — miserable, as all spoiled children are, unsatisfied, demanding, ill-disciplined, despotic and useless. Liberalism is a philosophy of sniveling brats.” 49 likes
“The second item in the liberal creed, after self-righteousness, is unaccountability. Liberals have invented whole college majors--psychology, sociology, women's studies--to prove that nothing is anybody's fault. No one is fond of taking responsibility for his actions, but consider how much you'd have to hate free will to come up with a political platform that advocates killing unborn babies but not convicted murderers. A callous pragmatist might favor abortion and capital punishment. A devout Christian would sanction neither. But it takes years of therapy to arrive at the liberal view.” 36 likes
More quotes…