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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Dave Barry is back in the ring, and he's sucker-punching American politics from the wing-tipped halls of the Beltway to the dimpled and pimpled voting booths of South Florida, and back again. Barry sets his column-writing aside to deliver what he calls "A Vicious and Unprovoked Attack on Our Most Cherished Political Institutions" in his new book, Dave Barry Hits Below the Beltway.
Barry is in top form, attempting to chronicle our journey in human government throughout the ages -- including the Dark Ages ("a bad time, lasting about one thousand years, during which hardly anybody read books and there was widespread ignorance. It was a lot like now, only without TV") and the Age of Barbecue, or the 1.2 million years "during which the human race gradually developed a powerful hankering for side dishes. This in turn led to the invention of agriculture"). In his bratty, rambunctious style, Barry shares his views on everything from the Modern American Political Campaign (featuring expertly satirized commercials in the mock campaigns of Bill Humpty and Bob Dumpty), to why we should "Kick Florida, or at Least South Florida, Out of the Union" ("South Florida is one of the weirdest places in the nation, and...as long as we keep it in the nation, we are running the risk that our national political process will be infected by this weirdness"). Along the way, he also draws attention to the unseen historical significance of the giant prehistoric zucchini (a.k.a. "the hydrogen bomb of the Dark Ages"), and "rarely seen footnotes" of the U.S. Constitution, such as Article IV, Section 1, "There shall be a bunch of States," and Amendment I, "Congress shall make no law regulating the capacity of toilets."
Fans of Dave Barry's popular syndicated columns have cause to be excited about this new batch of entirely original material. Both a Barry-butchered history of Western civilization and an outsider's guide to the U.S. government, Dave Barry Hits Below the Beltway is a panoramic look at America's politics and people that makes good on its promise of being "inaccurate and poorly researched," as well as being hilarious, snide, and of course, downright silly. (Elise Vogel)