Dave Barry Slept Here: A Sort of History of the United States [NOOK Book]

Overview

"Bary turns his formidable wit to the subject of American history, with a result reminiscent of the Reduced Shakespeare Company: The better you know the original, the funnier it gets."
LOS ANGELES TIMES
This time Dave Barry's subject is history, the way it's never been told before. Every single momentous event and crucial moment is covered, including...The Birthing Contractions of a Nation; Kicking Some British Butt; The Fifties: Peace, Prosperity, Brain Death, right up through...
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Dave Barry Slept Here: A Sort of History of the United States

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Overview

"Bary turns his formidable wit to the subject of American history, with a result reminiscent of the Reduced Shakespeare Company: The better you know the original, the funnier it gets."
LOS ANGELES TIMES
This time Dave Barry's subject is history, the way it's never been told before. Every single momentous event and crucial moment is covered, including...The Birthing Contractions of a Nation; Kicking Some British Butt; The Fifties: Peace, Prosperity, Brain Death, right up through the scintillating Reagan-Bush years. If you love to laugh, and you love your country, this is the book you've been waiting for since 1776. Or at least since Super Bowl III.


From the Trade Paperback edition.

In his fervent quest to complete the closing of the American mind, Pulitzer Prize-winner Dave Barry serves up a stunningly simple solution to historical illiteracy: leave out the dull parts! His newest, funniest--and most successful--book yet takes us on a whirlwind tour of American history and is sure to become a standard text for students of American humor.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Miami Herald syndicated columnist Barry here assembles a funny U.S. history replete with malapropisms Ferdinard and Imelda of Spain financed Columbus, parodies ``This land is your land, / This land is my land, / Looks like one of us / Has a forged deed to the land.'', literal-mindedness President Monroe Doctrine and, above all, anachronisms the Wrights' first flight was canceled because of equipment problems at O'Hare. Several clever gags run through the book--one about the significant contributions of women and minorities although none is ever detailed, another ascribing the date of every major event to October 8 for ease in remembering and a third featuring the Hawley-Smoot tariff, which had an immediate impact on the Great Depression. There are few heroes in Barry's pantheon, and only an occasional villain--principally Richard Nixon--while other widely admired figures, like Mark Twain and Winston Churchill, are given their lumps. Author tour. June
Library Journal
This book creates a serious problem--how to read it in public without laughing out loud. Barry, the Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist from the Miami Herald , writes deft, gaily satirical comedy which always borders on the ridiculous and sometimes crosses that border. His idea of making humor out of many familiar events and notable figures in American history is appealingly audacious. Written in the form of a history text, with ``questions'' at the end of chapters, the book starts with the days when there were ``no roads, no cities, no shopping malls, no Honda dealerships'' and ends at the point of landing ``a manned spacecraft on Trump''--the planet, of course. Ideal reading for gloomy afternoons and other times that require pleasant diversion.-- A.J. Anderson, Graduate Sch. of Lib . & Information Science, Simmons Coll., Boston
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307758712
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 7/28/2010
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 93,905
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Dave Barry
Dave Barry is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist for the Miami Herald. He is the author of numerous bestsellers, including the recent Dave Barry in Cyberspace. He lives in Miami, Florida.


From the Paperback edition.

Biography

In the introduction to Dave Barry Is Not Taking This Sitting Down, the author addresses the desirability of his job as a humor writer and syndicated columnist. "It looks so easy!" he wrote. "...Every year, hundreds of thousands of people try their hand at this demanding profession. After a few months, almost all of them have given up and gone back to the ninth grade."

Yes, Barry is juvenile at times -- but he has achieved the kind of success that can only come from combining a juvenile mind with intelligence, timing, and a keen eye for the absurd. Favorite Barry targets include government inanity, dogs, guys, the Internet, and other oddities of life. He also specializes in weird news and urban myths involving UFO hunters, Pop-Tart science, and toilets. Many of these essays feature the line that has become his catchphrase, "I am not making this up." (Unless, of course, he is introducing something serious and daunting such as a book about the federal government, in which case he reassures that he has made everything up.)

Usually, though, he's not making it up. What he's doing is making it very funny. Whether the target is Congress or commercials, Barry refuses to take anything seriously, least of all himself – but he manages to convey some pretty indicting truths in the process. He's a master of irony and visual punchlines, sometimes interrupting himself with lists, snippets of dialogue, or other on-topic digressions. On the subject of turning 50 and dealing with waning eyesight (a "good thing" about aging, because "you can't read anything"), Barry describes finding restaurant menus suddenly printed "in letters the height of bacteria." He continues: "For some reason, everybody else seemed to be able to read the menus. Not wishing to draw attention to myself, I started ordering my food by simply pointing to a likely looking blur.

ME (pointing to a blur): I'll have this.
WAITER: You'll have "We Do Not Accept Personal Checks"?
ME: Make that medium rare."

Barry has had the most successful and prolific publishing career of any working newspaper columnist, and his humor never seems to go out of style. In 1999, he decided to try his hand at fiction. The result was Big Trouble, a comic thriller à la Carl Hiassen (though filled more with gags than guns) that Entertainment Weekly proclaimed "... not only very funny, [but] sure-footed, even-handed, levelheaded, and other leading book review adjectives." In 2004, he and Ridley Pearson collaborated on Peter and the Starcatchers, a clever prequel to Peter Pan that spawned two additional novels and a series of spin-off children's chapter books.

Along with several other published authors, Barry is a member of the musical group Rock Bottom Remainders. In assessing the band's talents, he has been quoted as saying: "They are not musically skilled, but they are extremely loud."

Good To Know

The Rock Bottom Remainders was originally organized by a publicist to perform at the 1992 American Booksellers Association convention. The members -- which include (or have included) Barry, Stephen King, Amy Tan, Ridley Pearson, Barbara Kingsolver, Mitch Albom, and Matt Groening -- even took their show on the road at one point, turning it into the now out-of-print Mid-Life Confidential: The Rock Bottom Remainders Tour America with Three Chords and an Attitude.

Some things never change: Barry was elected class clown by his Pleasantville High School class in 1965.

Barry got his start in journalism at the Daily Local News in West Chester, Pennsylvania, then worked as a business writing consultant before joining the Miami Herald in 1983.

Attempts to convert Barry's humor to the screen have been less than memorable. The early '90s CBS sitcom based on two of his books and starring Harry Anderson, Dave's World, was short-lived; the spring 2002 release Big Trouble, starring Tim Allen, didn't fare well at the box office. Barry did, however, get a cameo in the latter.

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    1. Hometown:
      Miami, Florida
    1. Date of Birth:
      July 3, 1947
    2. Place of Birth:
      Armonk, New York
    1. Education:
      B.A. in English, Haverford College, 1969
    2. Website:

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 13 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 13 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2014

    Private Room

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2000

    HA HA!

    This is a great book. The more you know about American history, the funnier it is. It may not be for everyone. Dave Barry's humor is very unique but if you like his style, this is one of his best!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2000

    Twisted history

    If you've ever read Dave's year end reviews (or his millenium review from this past year), you'll have an idea of what this book is like. It's a hysterical mix of facts, fiction, and distortion of events. As always, Dave makes you laugh your tuckus off.

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    Posted August 6, 2010

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    Posted November 7, 2010

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