Chat Logo
Email Logo Facebook Logo YouTube Logo

Book Review

America again : re-becoming the greatness we never weren't


This is a book that I saw and automatically wanted to read because Stephen Colbert is hilarious and I watch his show all the time. He writes the book in the same persona that he uses on his satirical "political news" show, The Colbert Report.

The character that he's created for himself is a conservative Republican, layered in the irony of more subtle, liberal views. I think he draws a wider audience than, say, Jon Stewart, because conservatives who are willing to laugh at the surface jokes, ignoring the irony, can still be entertained, while pretty much only liberals are entertained by Jon Stewart.

These same liberals, however, can also laugh at the irony with which Colbert portrays a conservative, so he brings his audience from both sides of the fence. This tactic works well for him in America Again, as well as on the show, and there is no shortage of laughs in his political commentary on how to make America back into the great nation that, he says, it never stopped being.

Each chapter covers a different topic in politics like immigration, energy, jobs, elections, and healthcare. They describe how, despite America being the greatest nation in the world, it's broken, but Colbert is showing how to fix it. Not all of the humor is necessarily political, though. It's certainly fully a satire of American politics, but many of the laughs come, simply from the randomness of his writing style.

I rarely laugh out loud while reading, but I did more than once, while reading this book. I think it appeals especially to a millennial audience because they are obsessed with being entertained, and this is certainly that. While politics might not be particularly interesting to the millennial generation, if it's spun in a funny way, it suddenly becomes worth paying attention to.

Colbert does a great job of drawing on a lot of legitimate political knowledge, and then turning right around and making it illegitimate by twisting it to such extremes, for comedy's sake. All in all, I would recommend this book for what it is—a bundle of laughs. Don't come into it expecting actual weighty political ideas and you won't be disappointed.

By Emily Weber
Submitted: December 4, 2013