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The Baby Boom: How It Got That Way and It Wasn't My Fault and I'll Never Do It Again

The Baby Boom: How It Got That Way and It Wasn't My Fault and I'll Never Do It Again

Hardback

By (author) P J O'Rourke

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  • Publisher: Grove Press / Atlantic Monthly Press
  • Format: Hardback | 263 pages
  • Dimensions: 152mm x 226mm x 28mm | 522g
  • Publication date: 16 January 2014
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0802121977
  • ISBN 13: 9780802121974
  • Edition: 1
  • Sales rank: 154,652

Product description

P.J. O'Rourke began writing funny things in 1960s "underground" newspapers, became editor-in-chief of "National Lampoon," then spent 20 years reporting for "Rolling Stone" and "The Atlantic Monthly" as the world's only trouble spot humorist, going to wars, riots, rebellions, and other "Holidays in Hell" in more than 40 countries. Now O'Rourke, born at the peak of the Baby Boom, turns his keen eye on himself and his 75 million accomplices in making America what it is today. With laughter as an analytical tool, he uses his own very average, if sometimes uproarious experiences as a key to his exceptional age cohort. He writes about the way the post-war generation somehow came of age by never quite growing up and created a better society by turning society upside down."THE BABY BOOM: How it Got That Way... And It Wasn't My Fault... And I'll Never Do It Again" is at once a social history, a group memoir of collectively impaired memory, a hilarious attempt to understand his generation's messy hilarity, and a celebration of the mess the Baby Boom has made.

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Author information

P. J. O'Rourke was born and raised in Toledo, Ohio, and attended Miami University and Johns Hopkins. He began writing funny things in 1960s "underground" newspapers, became editor-in-chief of "National Lampoon," then spent 20 years reporting for "Rolling Stone" and "The Atlantic Monthly" as the world's only trouble-spot humorist, going to wars, riots, rebellions, and other "Holidays in Hell" in more than 40 countries. He's written 16 books on subjects as diverse as politics and cars and etiquette and economics. His book about Washington, "Parliament of Whores," and his book about international conflict and crisis, "Give War a Chance," both reached #1 on the "New York Times" best-seller list. He is a contributing editor at "The Weekly Standard," H. L. Mencken fellow at the Cato Institute, a member of the editorial board of "World Affairs" and a regular panelist on NPR's "Wait... Wait... Don't Tell Me." He lives with his family in rural New England, as far away from the things he writes about as he can get.

Review quote

Praise for The Baby Boom: "Prolific political and social commentator O'Rourke, author of 17 books, including the bestselling Parliament of Whores, has created here a thoughtful portrait of the baby boomer generation and what its members have done for the American way of life, and "the way we talked everybody into letting us get away with it." While O'Rourke acknowledges that sweeping generalizations about millions of Americans do not always apply, he seems to feel comfortable enough standardizing boomers at large as creatures of self-interest, hypocrisy, and hysteria. But even while discussing annual income and per capita GDP, O'Rourke maintains the dry wit that makes every chapter a delight, even if the picture they form is incomplete. The hilarity is helped along by plenty of anecdotes from his own life as a boomer, including the tale of when O'Rourke's underground newspaper was occupied overnight by Balto-Cong radicals. As a cultural analyst, O'Rourke's ability and willingness to simultaneously lampoon and celebrate himself and his generation are unequaled." -" Publishers Weekly "P.J. O'Rourke's Baby Boom may just be his best book ever. Teems with heart and humor -- much of it laugh out loud, or as the post-boomers would say, LOL -- as well as with his trademark brilliant social commentary. A terrific American memoir, in tone a beguiling mix of Jean Shepherd and "Animal House." In fact, I'm going to revise my prior statement and say flat-out that this is O'Rourke's best book ever, which is a saying a lot."-" Christopher Buckley "His simultaneously hilarious and brainy new book, "The Baby Boom: How It Got That Way And It Wasn't My Fault And I'll Never Do It Again," holds a cracked magnifying glass up to the generation of Americans born between the end of World War II and the early 1960s. Sifting through demographic and economic data and combining the results with generous portions of personal memories, O'Rourke finds much to deplore in the bo