The New York Times–bestselling author looks at the sixties generation, and how he and his seventy-five million accomplices made America what it is today.
 
A onetime editor-in-chief of National Lampoon who also spent years reporting for Rolling Stone and The Atlantic Monthly, P. J. O’Rourke is known as a conservative-minded political humorist and author of such bestsellers as Parliament of Whores. Not everyone knows that he was once a dedicated Marxist hippie type—living up to every stereotype of his postwar generation.
 
In this book, at once a social history and a personal memoir (albeit with some impaired memory involved), he explores, with both fiercely biting wit and fondness, the mess that the baby boomers made, and the impact they’ve had on our world.
 
“Dry wit that makes every chapter a delight . . . As a cultural analyst, O’Rourke’s ability and willingness to simultaneously lampoon and celebrate himself and his generation are unequaled.” —Publishers Weekly
 
“A terrific American memoir, in tone a beguiling mix of Jean Shepherd and Animal House.” —Christopher Buckley, author of Boomsday
 
“Simultaneously hilarious and brainy . . . holds a cracked magnifying glass up to the generation of Americans born between the end of World War II and the early 1960s. Sifting through demographic and economic data and combining the results with generous portions of personal memories, O’Rourke finds much to deplore in the boomer character, but even more to cherish and celebrate.” —Chicago Tribune
 
“A comedic and caustic cautionary tale for future generations—and, for those of us who are Boomers, a nostalgic and hilarious diversion.” —NPR
The iconic humorist offers his take on the stranger-than-fiction (and stranger-than-fact) 2016 presidential election and its equally unbelievable aftermath.
 
The 2016 election cycle was so absurd that celebrated political satirist, journalist, and die-hard Republican P. J. O’Rourke endorsed Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. As P. J. put it, “America is experiencing the most severe outbreak of mass psychosis since the Salem witch trials of 1692. So why not put Hillary on the dunking stool?”
 
In How the Hell Did This Happen?, P. J. brings his critical eye and inimitable voice to some seriously risky business. Starting in June 2015, he asks, “Who are these jacklegs, high-binders, wire-pullers, mountebanks, swellheads, buncombe spigots, four-flushers and animated spittoons offering themselves as worthy of America’s highest office?” and surveys the full cast of presidential candidates including everyone you’ve already forgotten and everyone you wish you could forget.
 
P. J. offers a brief history of how our insane process for picking who will run for president evolved, from the very first nominating convention (thanks, Anti-Masonic Party) through the reforms of the Progressive era (because there’s nothing that can’t be worsened by reform) to the present. He takes us through the debates and key primaries and analyzes everything from the campaign platforms (or lack thereof) to presidential style (“Trump’s appearance—indeed, Trump’s existence—is a little guy’s idea of living large. A private plane! A swell joint in Florida! Gold-plated toilet handles!”). And he rises from the depths of despair to come up with a better way to choose a president. Following his come-to-Satan moment with Hillary and the Beginning of End Times in November, P. J. reckons with a new age: “America is experiencing a change in the nature of leadership. We’re getting rid of our leaders. And we’re starting at the top.”
 
“Where are we going? Where have we been? P. J. O’Rourke casts his gimlet gaze on the circus of clowns-people foisted on us by the 2016 election—and demands to know How the Hell Did This Happen?” —Vanity Fair
A “hair-raisingly hilarious” journey through danger zones from Belfast to Gaza, by the #1 New York Times–bestselling author (Vanity Fair).
 
“Tired of making bad jokes” and believing that “the world outside seemed a much worse joke than anything I could conjure,” journalist and political satirist P. J. O’Rourke decided to traverse the globe on a fun-finding mission, investigating the way of life in the most desperate places on the planet, including Warsaw, Managua, and Belfast.
 
The result is Holidays in Hell—a full-tilt, no-holds-barred romp through politics, culture, and ideology. The author’s adventures include storming student protesters’ barricades with riot police in South Korea, interviewing communist insurrectionists in the Philippines, and going undercover dressed in Arab garb in the Gaza Strip. He also takes a look at America’s homegrown horrors as he braves the media frenzy surrounding the Reagan-Gorbachev summit in Washington DC, uncovers the mortifying banality behind the white-bread kitsch of Jerry Falwell’s Heritage USA, and survives the stultifying boredom of Harvard’s 350th anniversary celebration.
 
Packed with classic riffs on everything from Polish nightlife under communism to Third World driving tips, Holidays in Hell is one of the best-loved books by “one of America’s most hilarious writers” (Time).
 
“Wickedly amusing.” —The Baltimore Sun
 
“Funny, outrageous, perceptive.” —The Washington Post Book World
An “extremely funny” take on the decline of civility, from the #1 New York Times–bestselling author of How the Hell Did This Happen? (The Plain Dealer).
 
In Modern Manners, cultural guru P. J. O’Rourke provides the essential accessory for the truly contemporary man or woman—a rulebook for living in a world without rules.
 
Traditionally, good manners were a means of becoming as bland and invisible as everyone else, thus avoiding calling attention to one’s own awkwardness and stupidity. Today, with everyone wanting to appear special, stupidity is at a premium, and manners—as outrageous and bizarre as possible—are a wonderful way to distinguish ourselves, or at least have a fine time trying.
 
This irreverent and hilarious guide to anti-etiquette offers pointed advice on topics from sex and entertaining to reading habits and death. With the most up-to-date forms of vulgarity, churlishness, and presumption, the latest fashions in discourtesy and barbarous display, O’Rourke is our guide to the art of incivility.
 
“Modern Manners is O’Rourke doing what he has always done: making hilarious, insightful, often vicious fun of the world and all its inhabitants.” —People
 
“A reader who rushes through [Modern Manners] from cover to cover—like I did—will feel like a child who has gorged on chocolate cake: happy, but a bit disappointed that it’s all gone. The reason O’Rourke’s book is so successful, however, is not just his great sense of humor. O’Rourke’s writing has a cutting edge behind it, which makes a reader’s laughter just a bit thought-provoking, and just a bit rueful . . . Very funny.” —Chicago Tribune
Humorous essays from the #1 New York Times–bestselling author on travel, late-life parenting, and other perils.
 
P. J. O’Rourke, hailed as “one of America’s most hilarious writers” by Time, is the author of the classic travelogue Holidays in Hell, in which he traversed the globe on a fun-finding mission to what were then some of the most desperate places on the planet, including Warsaw, Managua, and Belfast.
 
In Holidays in Heck, O’Rourke embarks on supposedly more comfortable and allegedly less dangerous travels—often with family in tow—which mostly leave him wishing he were under artillery fire again. The essays take O’Rourke on a whirlwind of adventures, from the National Mall in Washington to a family ski vacation (to the Aspen of the Midwest—Ohio—where the highest point of elevation is the six-foot ski instructor that his wife thinks is cute). He also experiences a harrowing horseback ride across the mountains of Kyrgyzstan. The result is a hilarious and often moving portrait of life in the fast lane—only this time as a husband and father.
 
“In this cheeky follow-up to Holidays in Hell, former war correspondent O’Rourke trades battle zones for more appealing travel destinations, often with his family in tow . . . O’Rourke loses none of his sly humor, finding many opportunities to lampoon American politics under his new guise as a traveling family man.” —Publishers Weekly
 
“[O’Rourke] provides colorful, earthy descriptive passages regarding stag hunts in Britain, extreme horseback riding in the wilds of Kyrgyzstan, a poignant look at his bout with cancer and a brief jaunt to Kabul, Afghanistan.” —Kirkus Reviews
The #1 New York Times bestseller from “one of America’s most hilarious and provocative writers . . . a volatile brew of one-liners and vitriol” (Time).
 
Renowned for his cranky conservative humor, P. J. O’Rourke runs hilariously amok in this book, tackling the death of communism; his frustration with sanctimonious liberals; and Saddam Hussein in a series of classic dispatches from his coverage of the 1991 Gulf War.
 
On Kuwait City after the war, he comments, “It looked like all the worst rock bands in the world had stayed there at the same time.” On Saddam Hussein, O’Rourke muses: “He’s got chemical weapons filled with . . . with . . . chemicals. Maybe he’s got The Bomb. And missiles that can reach Riyadh, Tel Aviv, Spokane. Stock up on nonperishable foodstuffs. Grab those Diet Coke cans you were supposed to take to the recycling center and fill them with home heating oil. Bury the Hummel figurines in the yard. We’re all going to die. Details at eleven.” And on the plague of celebrity culture, he notes: “You can’t shame or humiliate modern celebrities. What used to be called shame and humiliation is now called publicity.”
 
Mordant and utterly irreverent, this is a modern classic from one of our great political satirists, described by Christopher Buckley as being “like S. J. Perelman on acid.”
 
“Mocking on the surface but serious beneath . . . When it comes to scouting the world for world-class absurdities, O’Rourke is the right man for the job.” —Los Angeles Times Book Review
 
“The funniest writer in America.” —The Wall Street Journal
The #1 New York Times–bestselling humorist’s tribute to car travel is “a ride worth taking, even for readers who don’t know an oil pan from a frying pan” (The Washington Times).
 
From a veteran of both Car and Driver and National Lampoon magazines, this hilarious book chronicles the golden age of the automobile in America—and takes us on a whirlwind tour of the world’s most scenic and bumpiest roads in trouble-laden cross-country treks, from a 1978 Florida-to-California escapade in a 1956 special four-door Buick sedan, to a thousand-mile effort across Mexico in the Baja 1000 in 1983, to a journey through Kyrgyzstan in 2006 on the back of a Soviet army surplus six-wheel-drive truck.
 
For longtime fans of the celebrated humorist, the collection features a host of O’Rourke’s classic pieces on driving, including “How to Drive Fast on Drugs While Getting Your Wing-Wang Squeezed and Not Spill Your Drink,” about the potential misdeeds one might perform in the front (and back) seat of an automobile; “The Rolling Organ Donors Motorcycle Club,” which chronicles a seven-hundred-mile weekend trip through Michigan and Indiana that O’Rourke took on a Harley-Davidson; his brilliant and funny piece from Rolling Stone on NASCAR and its peculiar culture recorded during an alcohol-fueled weekend in Charlotte, North Carolina, in 1977; and an hilarious account of a ride from Islamabad to Calcutta in Land Rover’s new Discovery Trek.
 
“Never in neutral, O’Rourke offers laughter on wheels.” —Publishers Weekly
 
“An insightful look not just at the American love affair with cars, but also at one man’s changing outlook on life, all of it fast-paced and over the top . . . Even readers who know nothing about cars and motorcycles will appreciate the joy and hilarity of this book.” —Booklist
An all-star team of eighteen conservative writers offers a hilarious, insightful, sanctimony-free remix of William Bennett’s The Book of Virtues—without parental controls. The Seven Deadly Virtues sits down next to readers at the bar, buys them a drink, and an hour or three later, ushers them into the revival tent without them even realizing it.

The book’s contributors include Sonny Bunch, Christopher Buckley, David “Iowahawk” Burge, Christopher Caldwell, Andrew Ferguson, Jonah Goldberg, Michael Graham, Mollie Hemingway, Rita Koganzon, Matt Labash, James Lileks, Rob Long, Larry Miller, P. J. O’Rourke, Joe Queenan, Christine Rosen, and Andrew Stiles. Jonathan V. Last, senior writer at the Weekly Standard, editor of the collection, is also a contributor. All eighteen essays in this book are appearing for the first time anywhere.

In the book’s opening essay, P. J. O’Rourke observes: “Virtue has by no means disappeared. It’s as much in public view as ever. But it’s been strung up by the heels. Virtue is upside down. Virtue is uncomfortable. Virtue looks ridiculous. All the change and the house keys are falling out of Virtue’s pants pockets.”

Here are the virtues everyone (including the book’s contributors) was taught in Sunday school but have totally forgotten about until this very moment. In this sanctimony-free zone:

• Joe Queenan observes: “In essence, thrift is a virtue that resembles being very good at Mahjong. You’ve heard about people who can do it, but you’ve never actually met any of them.”
• P. J. O’Rourke notes: “Fortitude is quaint. We praise the greatest generation for having it, but they had aluminum siding, church on Sunday, and jobs that required them to wear neckties or nylons (but never at the same time). We don’t want those either.”
• Christine Rosen writes: “A fellowship grounded in sociality means enjoying the company of those with whom you actually share physical space rather than those with whom you regularly and enthusiastically exchange cat videos.”
• Rob Long offers his version of modern day justice: if you sleep late on the weekend, you are forced to wait thirty minutes in line at Costco.
• Jonah Goldberg offers: “There was a time when this desire-to-do-good-in-all-things was considered the only kind of integrity: ‘Angels are better than mortals. They’re always certain about what is right because, by definition, they’re doing God’s will.’ Gabriel knew when it was okay to remove a mattress tag and Sandalphon always tipped the correct amount.”
• Sonny Bunch dissects forbearance, observing that the fictional Two Minutes Hate of George Orwell’s 1984 is now actually a reality directed at living, breathing people. Thanks, in part, to the Internet, “Its targets are designated by a spontaneously created mob—one that, due to its hive-mind nature—is virtually impossible to call off.”

By the time readers have completed The Seven Deadly Virtues, they won’t even realize that they’ve just been catechized into an entirely different—and better—moral universe.
Writings from the old-school Republican and New York Times–bestselling author of How the Hell Did This Happen?: “Hilarious” (Christopher Buckley, author of Thank You for Smoking).
 
In this collection of pieces, the outrageous political satirist renowned for such classics as Parliament of Whores takes on a wide range of cultural and political issues, and explains the platform of the Republican Party Reptile: “I think our agenda is clear. We are opposed to: government spending, Kennedy kids, seat-belt laws . . . busing our children anywhere other than Yale, trailer courts near our vacation homes . . . all tiny Third World countries that don’t have banking secrecy laws, aerobics, the UN, taxation without tax loopholes, and jewelry on men. We are in favor of: guns, drugs, fast cars, free love (if our wives don’t find out), a sound dollar . . . and a strong military with spiffy uniforms. There are thousands of people in America who feel this way, especially after three or four drinks. If all of us would unite and work together, we could give this country . . . well, a real bad hangover.”
 
“To say that P. J. O’Rourke is funny is like saying the Rocky Mountains are scenic—accurate but insufficient. At his best he’s downright exhilarating . . . Republican Party Reptile is as rambunctiously entertaining as a greased pig catching contest. If you can find a funnier writer than P. J. O’Rourke, buy him a brandy, but don’t lend him the keys to your pickup.” —Chicago Tribune
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