- Paperback: 240 pages
- Publisher: Grove Press; Export/Airside edition (9 Mar. 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1611855225
- ISBN-13: 978-1611855227
- Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 2 x 23.5 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
Amazon Bestsellers Rank:
444,717 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #307 in Books > Humour > Political
- #309 in Books > Society, Politics & Philosophy > Government & Politics > Political Structure & Processes > Constitution: Government & the State
- #389 in Books > Society, Politics & Philosophy > Government & Politics > Political Structure & Processes > Elections & Referendums
How the Hell Did This Happen?: The US Election of 2016 Paperback – 9 Mar 2017
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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
An essential take on the stranger-than-fiction 2016 presidential election from a quintessential voice on American politics and culture.See all Product description
Top Customer Reviews
O’Rourke analyses the election of Donald Trump as the American President, starting in June 2015 when a large number of hopefuls ‘threw their hats into the ring’. He takes the reader through the seemingly endless round of nominating conventions, primaries and debates, which are integral to the bizarre process whereby America chooses its President, and quickly dismisses just about all of them, including Trump and Clinton, as hopelessly unfit to be President, and deluded in their aspirations. Indeed most would-be candidates survived only a very short time, never to be heard of again, if indeed anyone but their few supporters had heard of them in the first place. Trump’s claim to be a billionaire leading real estate investor are demolished, and Clinton, whose campaign is described as ‘like a 'gerbil in the wheel', is subjected to withering comments, such as ‘The conflicts of interest at the Clinton Foundation were so huge they had to be weighed on Chris Christie's bathroom scale.’ In the end, face with an impossible choice, O’Rourke is forced to say that he will vote for Clinton as the least appalling candidate, with a list of reasons for his choice: ‘better a mangy cat than a rabid dog’ etc.
The narrative is sometimes repetitive and somewhat disjoint, possibly because much seems to have been written quickly during the campaign.Read more ›
The subject of the book, the 2016 election, is pretty much beyond parody and satire but P.J. managed to make me laugh out loud throughout the book. Some of his observations can be quite vicious and probably shouldn't be encouraged but they are funny. The book manages to make a profoundly depressing process which was devoid of any redeeming features or positivity into something funny and to see lessons for modern society as a whole. P.J. is a small government libertarian who champions the dignity of humans as individuals and considers that great things are achieved when individuals freely come together in pursuit of common aims rather than as a result of government intervention and central planning. Although considered right wing, in many ways he is more tolerant of personal choices and the right of individuals to lead their own lives than most socialists and liberals and this is certainly not a packaged piece of party political hackery.Read more ›
I had hoped for more analysis of the errors of the Hilary campaign and the genius of the Trump campaign - and especially something (which is completely absent) why the polls were so wrong.
I have to point out two statements in the book: First that political parties are bad. No! The American problem is, that you only have two of them! If you had more, you wouldn't be branded a traitor, if persons from one party worked with persons from another party!
Second: The author (being a republican) is rambling against higher taxes. He states, that if you took away all the money of the world's billionaires and spread them out among all Americans, each person would get $20,313 - once - and then the money is gone! How absurd!! Please take class 101 of national economics, Mr O'Rourke!! What would the average American do with $20,313 ?? Spend them !! So someone else would earn them (and the state would earn tax). The people who sold the goods to the first person, would earn more money, and spend them again. The money would never dissapear. Except if you let rich folks have them - because they can't spend more than they do! Give a rich guy a tax cut, and nothing happens (or maybe he buys some extra imported caviar). Give a poor guy a tax cut (or state aid) and he buys milk, steaks and clothes - produced locally - generating increased economical activity!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A very funny look at the car crash which was the 2016 presidential election, with plenty of O'Rourke's characteristic wit and biting sarcasm. Read morePublished 2 days ago by Christopher Sleight
I found it a load incoherent drivel due to incessant attempts at satire that invariably fell short of the mark. Read morePublished 10 days ago by Amazon Customer
The term "mordant wit" could have been invented for this book, P J O'Rourke doesn't really describe how it happened but gives some interesting comments on the political... Read morePublished 12 days ago by I'm not telling
Witty and perceptive. How could anyone vote for any of them. Mediocrity incarnate.Published 28 days ago by JB Richards
Not really a very interesting or amusing recital of the campaignPublished 29 days ago by Amazon Customer
This is a startling book. P J O'Rourke is a writer of high intelligence who has a gift of getting to the core of issues. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Preston
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