I’ve been on a bit of a politically-fueled comedy book reading bent lately, and since I generally like Bill Maher’s style, I thought I would check this book out. This book is definitely different from his New Rules books by featuring only essays by him–well, except for the political posters, which were inspired by or based on the ones that were made during World War II.
This book is also different in that it isn’t really all that funny. It’s more of an educational sort of thing. As is probably obvious by the title, this book has to do with the post-9/11 world that the book was written in. Oddly, even though it was written in 2002, much of what he said in this book still applies to current attitudes and policies in this country. That, in itself, is rather alarming.
There were some things about the book that made me feel a little less comfortable. While I’m used to his comedy having some edge, this book was a lot edgier than what I expected. I understand the frustration he had with the country and the world in 2002 because I felt that way a lot, too. I guess I was just disappointed that he made a book that a reader would think should be comedy into a bitter rant-fest.
And while it was different from what I had expected, the book was also full of wisdom. Sometimes it is easy to dismiss the things that Maher says because he is a comedian, but that really just makes him a type of anthropologist or sociologist. He definitely observes a lot about the world, and he is unafraid to share his thoughts on what he likes and what disturbs him. That alone makes this book worthy of reading, even if you just wanted to see the guy smiting his enemies with his snarky wit.