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How the Hell Did This Happen? : A Cautionary Tale of American Democracy - P. J. O'Rourke

How the Hell Did This Happen?

A Cautionary Tale of American Democracy

Hardcover Published: 9th March 2017
ISBN: 9781611856217
Number Of Pages: 240
For Ages: 18+ years old

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No comedian could have written the joke this election cycle has been. The punch line is too ridiculous (whoever the punch line is going to be). Celebrated political satirist, journalist, and diehard Republican P.J. O'Rourke brings his critical eye and inimitable voice to some serious risky business. How The Hell Did This Happen? covers the whole election process from the pig pile of presidential candidates circa June 2015, the dreadful key primaries and candidate debates through his come-to-Satan moment with Hillary - 'She's the second worst thing that could happen to our nation. I endorse her.' - to the Beginning of End Times in November.

How The Hell Did This Happen? answers the key question of the 2016 presidential election: Should we laugh or should we cry or should we hurl? (They are not mutually exclusive.)

About the Author

P. J. O’Rourke has written eighteen books on subjects as diverse as politics and cars and etiquette and economics. Parliament of Whores and Give War a Chance both reached #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. He is a contributing editor at the Weekly Standard, H. L. Mencken Research Fellow at the Cato Institute, a regular panelist on NPR’s Wait Wait . . . Don’t Tell Me, and a columnist for the Stansberry Digest investment letter. He lives in rural New England, as far away from the things he writes about as he can get.

Industry Reviews

O'Rourke has a nice, world-weary way with the US's present political follies... He hasn't lost his gift for the brutally effective one-liner. * Guardian *
scabrously witty, inventive and rich in historical detail... O'Rourke is never less than pleasurable company. There were chapters in this book I read twice just for the fun of it... I am already looking forward to the companion volume What The Hell Happens Next? * The Times *
extremely funny * Sunday Times *
O'Rourke has a real eye for the vagaries of American politics and, on occasion, piercing insight. * Observer *
O'Rourke has been for decades the wittiest guide to America, and the usual ingredients are packed into this volume. How the Hell Did This Happen? is scabrously witty, inventive and rich in historical detail. * The Australian *
Whether you agree with him or not, P.J. writes a helluva piece. -- Richard Nixon
Who better than one of America's most-respected humourists to make sense of an election in which real life frequently appeared to approach satire? * The Week *
P.J. O'Rourke is like S.J. Perelman on acid. -- Chris Buckley
P.J. O'Rourke was really the first to inject non-liberal hilarity into political discourse . . . But more important, he was able to yank conservatives out of the hands of the humorless and shrill, and make such writing accessible . . . He changed my life. -- Greg Gutfeld
[O'Rourke] occupies a rare place among the laughing class: He has somehow avoided the orifice obsession that captivates many of its members; he identifies as Republican; and he is no mere thumb-sucker, having visited more than 40 countries to report on wars, regime changes, economic revolutions and the experience of drinking cocktails garnished with the poison sacs of cobras. * Wall Street Journal *
Outspoken conservatives have long been a minority in comedy, particularly in the mainstream media, which provided an opportunity for P.J. O'Rourke, who for decades cornered the market for prominent right-wing humorists . . . If his wry essays have a mission statement . . . it's this: Starchy -Republicanism is really, really fun. * New York Times Book Review *
As a cultural analyst, O'Rourke's ability and willingness to simultaneously lampoon and celebrate himself and his generation are unequaled. * Publishers Weekly *

Who are these jacklegs, highbinders, wire-pullers, mountebanks, swellheads, buncombe spigots, boodle artists, four-flushers and animated spittoons offering themselves as worthy of the nation’s highest office?

Do they take us voters for fools?

Of course they do. But are they also deluded? Are they also insane? Are they receiving radio broadcasts on their dental fillings telling them they have what it takes to be a good president?

Perry, Santorum, Walker, Webb, Chafee, Pataki, Huckabee, Jindal, Graham, O’Malley, Paul, Fiorina, Biden, Bush, Christie, Carson, Rubio, Cruz, Kasich, Sanders, Clinton, and Trump.

That’s not a list of presidential candidates. That’s the worst law firm in the world.

These people don’t have what it takes to be a bad president.
Author's Note

1. The Campaign Begins
2. The Abominable Showman
3. The Horror! The Horror!
4. A Huck So Unlike Finn
5. Always Look on the Bright Side of Life
6. So Much for That
7. The Last Damn Republican Presidential Candidate Debate I'll Ever Watch
8. Say It Ain't So, Joe
9. A Better Way to Choose a President, Part I
10. The Walking Dead
11. Time to Pull the Plug on Ben Carson's Campaign
12. In Memoriam
13. Our Higgledy-Piggledy Primary System and How It Higgles Our Pigs
14. A Halfhearted Case for Marco Rubio
15. The Case Against Marco Rubio
16. Cruz Control
17. Fashion Notes
18. What They Stand For, and Can We Stand It? Part I
19. What They Stand For, and Can We Stand It? Part II
20. Paying for What We Can't Stand
21. Another Attempt at Paying for What We Can't Stand
22. What They Stand For, and Can We Stand It? Part III
23. Letter to Myself in 1968
24. A Better Way to Choose a President, Part II
25. The Last Damn National Political Convention I'll Ever Watch
26. The Democratic National Political Convention
27. I Endorse Hillary
28. The Nowhere Leadership Is Headed To
29. The Campaign Trail of Sneers
30. The Revolt Against the Elites


ISBN: 9781611856217
ISBN-10: 1611856213
Audience: Professional
For Ages: 18+ years old
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 240
Published: 9th March 2017
Publisher: Grove Press / Atlantic Monthly Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 24.3 x 16.3  x 2.5
Weight (kg): 0.52

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