From the Publisher
"A handy phrase-book to help us understand the yammering of the Beltway's chatterati."--Wall Street Journal
"Those seriously concerned with the vitality of our wonky Beltway blather may want to skip the next agriculture-subsidy roundtable to train their bifocals on 'Hatchet Jobs and Hardball'.... There, with some imagination, you can freshen your lexicon with some forgotten or fairly obscure, but nevertheless serviceable, bits of political argot. Impress your fellow sheeple!"--Tom Kuntz, The New York Times
"An entertaining and informed lexicon of 600 words and phrases describing both current and past political activities and the politicos who made them happen...a most useful state-of-the-slang compendium."--Library Journal
"Word lovers and miners for old terms of art that deserve new life will find delight here.... The book has a short introduction by James Carville and Mary Matalin. And in addition to nearly 300 pages of citations, Mr. Barrett includes eight brief essays, one of them on '-gate' coinages (Does anybody remember what 'clamgate' or 'waste-watergate' referred to?)."--Dallas Morning News
Dictionaries of political slang remain up-to-date only until the next election. Barrett, project editor of The Historical Dictionary of American Slang, presents an entertaining and informed lexicon of 600 words and phrases describing both current and past political activities and the politicos who made them happen. Each entry includes a definition and examples of its usage, some dating back two centuries. The most entertaining words describe current phenomena "American Taliban," those who believe that religion should have a place in government; "globaloney," an unrealistic foreign policy; "NASCAR dad," a white, blue-collar married man; and "war blog," a personal web site devoted usually to terrorism. Also included are a few short essays about the enduring impact of some prominent slang usage, including interesting ones on the effect of online journals on political communications or on how the suffix -gate is used to describe real or contrived political scandals. Bottom Line Although not as comprehensive as William Safire's 1993 Safire's New Political Dictionary: The Definitive Guide to the New Language of Politics, this is a most useful state-of-the-slang compendium. Recommended for academic and all public libraries, which may want to consider having copies in both ready reference and general collections. Karl Helicher, Upper Merion Twp. Lib., King of Prussia, PA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.