Parliament of Whores: A Lone Humorist Attempts to Explain the Entire U. S. Government

( 8 )

Overview

Called "an everyman's guide to Washington" (The New York Times), P. J. O'Rourke's savagely funny and national best-seller Parliament of Whores has become a classic in understanding the workings of the American political system. Originally written at the end of the Reagan era, this new edition includes an extensive foreword by the renowned political writer Andrew Ferguson — showing us that although the names and the players have changed, the game is still the same. Parliament of Whores is an exuberant, ...

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Parliament of Whores: A Lone Humorist Attempts to Explain the Entire U.S. Government

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Overview

Called "an everyman's guide to Washington" (The New York Times), P. J. O'Rourke's savagely funny and national best-seller Parliament of Whores has become a classic in understanding the workings of the American political system. Originally written at the end of the Reagan era, this new edition includes an extensive foreword by the renowned political writer Andrew Ferguson — showing us that although the names and the players have changed, the game is still the same. Parliament of Whores is an exuberant, broken-field run through the ethical foibles, pork-barrel flimflam, and bureaucratic bullrorfle inside the Beltway that leaves no sacred cow unskewered and no politically correct sensitivities unscorched. "Highly pungent and wickedly accurate observations ... [from a] boisterous, pedal-to-the-floor humorist." — The New York Times Book Review "Outrageous ... It is insulting, inflammatory, profane, and absolutely great reading." — The Washington Post Book World "A gonzo civics book ... O'Rourke is like a trophy hunter let loose in an unguarded zoo." — Chicago Tribune

According to P.J. O'Rourke, the American political system resembles nothing so much as "a gigantic Mexican Christmas pinata, " filled with everything from $600-per-cow farm subsidies to the savings-and-loan bailout. In this devastating national bestseller, he attacks the system with brilliant and lethal humor.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Conservative O'Rourke takes no prisoners in this deadly accurate number-one bestseller, which spent 28 weeks on PW 's hardcover list. O'Rourke's latest essay collection, Give War a Chance , will be published by Atlantic Monthly Press in May. Author tour. (May)
Booknews
O'Rourke has lost his timing since Holidays in hell. In Whores he separates his brilliant mots with too little substance. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802139702
  • Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 2/10/2003
  • Series: O'Rourke, P. J.
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 456,028
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.32 (h) x 0.68 (d)

Read an Excerpt

Parliament of Whores

A Lone Humorist Attempts to Explain the Entire U.S. Government
By P. J. O'Rourke

Grove Atlantic, Inc.

Copyright © 1991 P. J. O'Rourke
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-8021-3970-1


Chapter One

I have only one firm belief about the American political system, and that is this: God is a Republican and Santa Claus is a Democrat.

God is an elderly or, at any rate, middle-aged male, a stern fellow, patriarchal rather than paternal and a great believer in rules and regulations. He holds men strictly accountable for their actions. He has little apparent concern for the material well-being of the disadvantaged. He is politically connected, socially powerful and holds the mortgage on literally everything in the world. God is difficult. God is unsentimental. It is very hard to get into God's heavenly country club.

Santa Claus is another matter. He's cute. He's non-threatening. He's always cheerful. And he loves animals. He may know who's been naughty and who's bee nice, but he never does anything about it. He gives everyone everything they want without thought of a quid pro quo. He works hard for charities, and he's famously generous to the poor. Santa Claus is preferable to God in every way but one: There is no such thing as Santa Claus.

The American political system is like a gigantic Mexican Christmas fiesta. Each political party is a huge pinata-a papier-machedonkey, for example. The donkey is filled with full employment, low interest rates, affordable housing, comprehensive medical benefits, a balanced budget, and other goodies. The American voter is blindfolded and given a stick. The voter then swings the stick wildly in every direction, trying to hit a political candidate on the head and knock some sense into the silly bastard.

When you looked at the Republicans you saw the scum off the top of business. When you looked at the Democrats you saw the scum off the top of politics. Personally, I prefer business. A businessman will steal from you directly instead of getting the IRS to do it for him. And when Republicans ruin the environment, destroy the supply of affordable housing, and wreck the industrial infrastructure, at least they make a buck off it. The Democrats just do these things for fun.

Democrats are also the party of government activism, the party that says government can make you richer, smarter, taller and get the chickweed out of your lawn. Republicans are the party that says government doesn't work, and then they get elected and prove it. One philosophy is not necessarily an improvement on the other, but if you want the tooth fairy to come, you've got to have some teeth under your pillow.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Parliament of Whores by P. J. O'Rourke Copyright © 1991 by P. J. O'Rourke. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 8 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2005

    Buy a copy for your congressman

    O'Rourke's hysterical analysis of our government in inaction ought to be the standard textbook in all high school civics classes. Taking us from the town hall to the Supreme Court, it cuts through all the empty rhetoric and exposes just how far we've strayed from the founding fathers' hopes and ideals. 'Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys,' O'Rourke says. The evidence to support his theory is plentiful and scary. Buy a copy for your congressman.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2013

    Tasha AT'S

    Homie fuq me hrd.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2011

    Meh.

    Some parts were funny and entertaining, others bored me to tears.

    I did learn a bit about the goverment though, so it wasn't a total wash...it just was not what I expected. Plus it was published 20 years ago, so facts and figures are dated. If someone were to write a modern version, I think I would have enjoyed it more.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2010

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    Posted April 29, 2009

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    Posted December 3, 2008

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2010

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