America (The Book) (Full title: The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Presents America {The Book}: A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction) is a parody of an American government textbook. The book is written by the staff responsible for Comedy Central's the Daily Show, and demonstrates the show's handiness for effortless wit and humor bordering on sacrilege.

Anyone who has taken an American government class in high school will recognize the basic information, although the book presents them infused and transformed by adult cynicism and an anti-idealist viewpoint. The book dissects the workings and process of American government, presenting the three different branches of the system in all their decadent glory.

As aforementioned, the style of the Daily Show comes through strongly in the book, although the translation to written form, complete with the freedom from length and complexity limitations, has honed the already sharp writing to a razor's edge. The writing staff's efforts are bolstered by the column]-length appearances of the Daily Show's special correspondents, including Stephen Colbert, Samantha Bee (presenting the Canadian perspective), Ed Helms, and Robert Corddry. Also, short polls provide both reader introspection and humor (Do you think the polls are included to fill holes in the publishing format?). Finally, the book is presented beautifully as a textbook, including chapter exercises and teacher guides for study material, all of which are hilarious.

This book should not solely be judged on its comedic merit: though that is present and wonderfully carried out, the core of the book is its view of a ideal republic shaped by the pressures of the real world. Already an effective primer on the government as designed by the founding fathers, the book goes further and, with all possible seriousness, presents such modern concepts as the media, the party system, public interests, international relations, and congressional lobbyists as only a talented and intelligent team of cynics can.

America (the book) is available from Warner Books as a 240-page hardcover.

Alert reader rootbeer277 informs me that Wal-Mart is refusing to carry the book in its stores. The Boston Herald reports that Wal-mart has canceled its order for copies of the book after learning that the faces of the Supreme Court Justices have been superimposed, within the book, over nine naked, elderly bodies, along with faux-cut-out robes and instructions to 'match the robes to the justice'. Wal-Mart is still carrying the book in its online store.

Alert reader sid directs me to two seperate reports wherein the book was banned and subsequently re-released onto the shelves of public libraries in Southern Mississippi. Again, the issue of controversy appears to be the fake pictures of naked supreme court justices.

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