America (The Book)
| Great and terrible|
|On our shelf:|
America (The Book): A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction is a 2004 non-fiction book written by Jon Stewart and others who were and are writers of The Daily Show that parodies and satirizes American politics and worldview. It is a mock-textbook complete with study guide, discussion questions, classroom projects, and "visual aids". It was written in a pessimistic tone in order to show what the Founders idealized for America, and what it became. It also features a chapter on "the rest of the world", where American stereotypes of other nations are capitalized on. A 2006 Teacher's Edition was released featuring professor emeritus Stanley K. Schultz correcting the satirical mistakes.
In 2010, a sequel called Earth (the Book): A Visitor's Guide to the Human Race was released. The premise of the book is presenting a satirical summary of human existence intended to be read by aliens in the future. Everything from child rearing to banking to human anatomy is addressed in this book.
Chapter 1: Democracy Before America
This chapter begins with hunters and gatherers as political parties and ends with the Enlightenment.
Chapter 2: The Founding of America
Here, the authors send up the founding of the United States
Chapter 3: The President: King of Democracy
The office of the presidency has increased in scope, and the authors discuss.
Chapter 4: Congress: Quagmire of Freedom
The purpose of the Congress is mocked.
Chapter 5: The Judicial Branch: It Rules
From the local food court to the Supreme Court, this chapter covers them all.
Chapter 6: Campaigns and Elections: America Changes the Sheets
If one has ever wondered how sausage is made, this chapter provides an equally unpleasant alternative.
Chapter 7: The Media: Democracy’s Valiant Vulgarians
While definitely outdated due to this book being originally written in 2004, the media is skewered.
Chapter 8: The Future of Democracy: Four Score and Seven Years from Now
A largely speculative chapter focused on America in the future.
Chapter 9: The Rest of the World: International House of Horrors
This chapter has typical American stereotypes of most of the other regions of the world.