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Our Gang [Hardcover]

Philip Roth
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Oct 1971
The character of Tricky presents one of the greatest hypocritical opportunists, an unprincipled self-seeker in this satirical vision of a debased national leadership speaking a language that is designed to make lies sound truthful.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Random House; 3rd Edition edition (Oct 1971)
  • Language: German
  • ISBN-10: 039447886X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394478869
  • Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 14 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,521,996 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

In 1997, Philip Roth won the Pulitzer Prize for American Pastoral. In 1998 he received the National Medal of Arts at the White House and in 2002 the highest award of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Gold Medal in Fiction. He has twice won the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award. He has won the PEN/Faulkner Award three times. In 2005 The Plot Against America received the Society of American Historians' Prize for "the outstanding historical novel on an American theme for 2003-2004". Recently Roth received PEN's two most prestigious prizes: in 2006 the PEN/Nabokov Award and in 2007 the PEN/Saul Bellow Award for achievement in American fiction. Roth is the only living American writer to have his work published in a comprehensive, definitive edition by the Library of America.

Product Description


"Brilliant satire in the real Swift tradition" (Anthony Burgess)

"Perhaps the funniest and most complex exercise in sustained political satire since Animal Farm" (Newsweek)

"A bitter yet hilarious lampoon...a remarkable display of satiric vehemence. An extremely (in every sense) funny, nail-bitingly anxious work" (Financial Times)

"Outrageously hilarious" (Saturday Review of Books) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

'Disturbing, logical and very funny... In short, a masterpiece' - New York Times Book Review --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Lightly amusing 20 Feb 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I perhaps expected too much from this work. It is simply a set of similar imaginary transcripts of the decision-making meetings of the Nixon inner sanctum. Not much thought on structure, and lacks subtle irony to mark it out as special. Many of the jokes are reconstituted repetitions, and I found it difficult to maintain sufficient interest to complete. I was probably taken in by the critic who likened it to Animal Farm and Gulliver's travels - oh dear, no!
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Check - The Hutton Enquiry 5 Sep 2003
By A Customer
In today's climate of doublespeak this witty and deeply satirical clubbing of Nixon and the American right is partcularly apposite in the light of the current Hutton Enquiry.
Fabulously enjoyable the book also leaves you with an uneasy feeling and a nasty taste in your mouth for the crimes that Nixon committed in his pursuit of power.
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Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  15 reviews
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars On The Comeback Trail, Or Tricky In Hell 31 Jan 2005
By TommyEaseTheChill - Published on Amazon.com
I picked up this book at a library sale for ten cents. It was amazing! The satire is about much more than Richard Nixon's personal crimes. It's about how politicians use stock phrases and ideas to sell just about any form of cowardice and corruption. Make no mistake, Richard Nixon is not the only target here. Roth slashes the fatuous pieties of network news with tremendous effectiveness -- he really skewers the mock gravitas of talking heads like Tom and Dan and all the rest. His take on the media's "all is well" mentality has never been more timely. "Yet corruption there has been before, and the nation survives."

The book does have weak passages, like the whole Curt Flood abortion and Boy Scout murder routine, which drags on and on. And a lot of Roth's gibes at Tricky for being a "closet queer" are painfully homophobic and shallow.

But the final chapter, "On The Comeback Trail, or Tricky In Hell" is really a stand alone masterpiece. Tricky gives a speech which is utterly demonic and yet filled with Cold War rhetoric that would have been absolutely appropriate for any politician from Eisenhower to Reagan. "We cannot be triumphant over goodness with a strategy of simply holding the line."

Brilliant stuff!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Gang's all here - and gone 3 Dec 2006
By Bomojaz - Published on Amazon.com
Thirty-five years after the initial publication of Philip Roth's scathing satire on Richard Nixon (Trick E. Dixon in the book), one wonders how the book is received and perceived today. Is Nixon, the man and his presidency, still lodged enough in the public consciousness for Roth's hilarious bashings to make sense anymore? Other presidents, including Lincoln and Andrew Jackson among others, have been satirized, but those works have not lasted. My guess is that will probably be the fate of Roth's book, too. It's not a great book and goes on too long to remain potent to the end, but it is funny, and for anyone who's lived through the Nixon years, biting and right on. And it's not just Nixon who gets shafted; there are also John and Robert Charisma (Kennedy), Hubert Hollow (Humphrey), Lyin' B. Johnson, and Rev. Billy Cupcake (Graham), to name just a few, who also are satirized. Perhaps the funniest (and most clever) thing is the Preface that Roth added to editions published starting in 1973 (the so-called Watergate editions) where he apologizes to Nixon for writing the book before "evidence" of Nixon's downfall could possibly be known; Roth's tongue is so deeply lodged in his cheek that it must have been painful. A mere blip on the radar screen of Roth's works, the book is still a rollicking pie-in-the-face to Richard Nixon and his skewed take on the political scene.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Story of Tricky Dixon 29 Feb 2008
By JMack - Published on Amazon.com
There are those that have said this story is dated in their reviews. If we changed the names to reflect more contemporary leaders, is it not really just the same story today? While the story itself is a little overdone at points, the satire still brings clear echos of the Nixon Administration.

The idea that "Tricky Dixon" was a power hungry manipulator seems well accepted today. But when this book came out, the idea was still in its embryonic states. Essentially, Tricky manipulates the voting population with a pro-life stance that he takes to an extreme. As the chapter titles might imply, it causes an unexpected demise. Tricky's dastardly tricks along the way to the end seem preposeterous. Yet what is funny is generally not far from the truth. Those same sections run too long with some of the weaker points of humor, the fast pace is certain to keep readers engaged.

Though slight in length, those with knowledge of the Nixon Administration will enjoy this book. Even those with a certain degree of political insight that is less than conservative are likely to enjoy this satire.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tricky for those who don't get it... 15 Aug 2001
By Gypsychick - Published on Amazon.com
I have a great affinity for this book for a few reasons, the biggest being there is no longer such scathing political satire that is created in so many layers like this little missive from Roth. The media, literary world, and even the OpEds in many newspapers forget the power wielded and the passion invocked by a well-crafted satire instead of mud slinging and innuendo. The story of Trick E. Dixon and his fervent and funny fight for the sanctity of human life as well as the right to kill anyone who disagrees is the perfect paradox of politics. The persona of Richard Nixon, love him or hate him, is the perfect foil for this kind of dialogue/novel and it is an eerie historical note when so very much of the spirit of Trick E. Dixon was soon to be exposed in our own president. If you vote, read this book. If you don't, shame on you!
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scalding Satire 16 Jun 2002
By "mahray" - Published on Amazon.com
This is wild, satirical look at the Nixon administration and it is hilarious. Roth scalds Nixon and his felonious cronies with absurd scenarios and commentary. Ultimately every presidential adminstration could receive similar literary treatment for their vapid pronouncements and high and mighty attitude, but the Nixon persona lends itself perfectly to such an exercise. Clinton is a likely candidate for a future effort. If you are a political junky you particularly should enjoy this presidential farce.
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