Tracy's Reviews > I Am America

I Am America by Stephen Colbert
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's review
Feb 28, 2008

it was amazing
bookshelves: read-and-liked-it
Recommended to Tracy by: Stephen Colbert
Recommended for: everyone

I suspect that Stephen Colbert, the relentlessly egotistical headlining author of I Am America (And So Can You!), would protest if you called his book funny, but it most definitely is funny. In his mind, however, the book is an indispensable work of truth and advice about how to navigate your life. In the directions for how to read the book, Colbert mentions that his book can be used to swear in people about to give testimony in the extraordinary absence of the Bible. This sums up the esteem with which this work should be regarded, according to the author.

I Am America (And So Can You!) opens with Colbert’s declaration that he does not like books. He also hopes that his readers have not read any books before, presumably so that their minds will be pure and therefore most receptive to his truth.

The 230-page hardcover goes on to reveal Colbert’s wise opinions about such topics as the family, religion, sex and dating, higher education, the media, and science. In each chapter a multi-layered satire of right wing conservative values and points of view are presented in cleverly hysterical detail. The chapter titles easily decant the savory flavor of the book’s humor. (Please don’t add water!) For example the chapter about Sports is called “When It’s Okay to Shower With Men” and the chapter on Class War is named “Let Them Buy Cake For A Change.”

In addition to the American-as-apple-pie insight imparted by no less than 14 writers, I Am American (And So Can You!) is so fundamentally funny that the actual design of the book often made me laugh. The photography is truly brilliant, both in composition and the acting skill of the subject. Colbert’s distinctive facial expressions and flair for wholesomeness combined wonderfully with a variety of props ranging from a bouquet of flowers to dog poop. My personal favorite is the photograph of Colbert in front of Applebees, where he presumably became disillusioned with life. (I understand). Another nice touch with the book design are the red-dyed edges of the pages, so as to advertise its Biblical quality.

I recommend this book to people who do not read books and like to be told how to think by a male authority figure. Studies indicate this would be a large audience, which accounts for the best-selling success of this book.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
December 25, 2007 – Finished Reading
February 28, 2008 – Shelved
February 28, 2008 – Shelved as: read-and-liked-it

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Lisa I've been wondering about this book! I love Colbert; based on your review, I definitely need to check it out.

Tracy Yes, the whole book is a chuckle-fest and very well done. It was nice to read during the writers' strike when the show was not on.

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