America According to Colbert: Satire as Public Pedagogy post 9/11 argues that, in contrast to the anti-intellectualism, the sensationalism, and the punditry that tend to govern most mass media today, Stephen Colbert's program offers his audience the opportunity to understand the context through which most news is reported and to be critical of it.
About the Author
Sophia A. McClennen is a professor of Comparative Literature, Spanish, and Women's Studies at the Pennsylvania State University, University Park, where she directs the Center for Global Studies and the graduate program in Comparative Literature.
Table of Contents
I Stand By This Man: Colbert Speaks Truthiness to Power
• The Public at Risk: Dissent and Democracy after 9/11
• Proud to Be an American Satirist
• America According to The Colbert Report: Or How a TV Show Can Change the Way a Nation Thinks
• Amusing Ourselves to Activism?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Colbert’s America: Satire and Democracy is a very insightful and thoughtful book. Author Sophia McClennen does an incredible job analyzing the many aspects of Colbert and his over-the-top, far-right character. Considering the show from multiple angles--literary history, politics, and public pedagogy--the book shapes a compelling narration of recent cultural history and provides a keen critical reading of contemporary media. McClennen also considers the many audiences of Colbert (including youth, media, politicians, and his fans), often comparing their respective opinions of and reactions to his work and character. Through these viewpoints, McClennen proves that both Colbert and his show The Colbert Report have a major impact on the way people think about, understand, and engage in politics. In her book, McClennen spares no details, taking every train of thought as far as possible in a deeply attentive and inquisitive way. She effectively acknowledges how funny Colbert is while also suggesting his potential for influencing audience members to think beyond the laughs. McClennen balances smart criticism with an intense anatomy of how Colbert takes advantage of his audience's desire to be smarter than the pundits and political systems he satirizes, effectively opening the reader’s eyes to the many subtleties of Colbert’s work he/she likely didn’t notice before. Although at some points the text can be a little tedious and long-winded, it is over a very entertaining and insightful read.