Humorists
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Humorists : From Hogarth to Noel Coward

3.22 (109 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

"It is Johnson's gift that he can make his subjects human and fallible enough that we would...recognize them instantly, while also illuminating what made them heroes." -Washington Post Book World on Heroes

"Johnson is a clear, intelligent, forceful writer, and nothing if not thorough." -Wall Street Journal

Paul Johnson, the acclaimed author of Creators, Heroes, and the New York Times bestseller Intellectuals, returns with a captivating collection of biographical portraits of the Western world's greatest wits and humorists. With chapters dedicated to history's sharpest tongues and most piercing pens, including Benjamin Franklin, Toulouse-Lautrec, G.K. Chesterton, Damon Runyan, W.C. Fields, the Marx Brothers, and many more, Johnson's Humorists is an exciting compendium of our most enduring comical and satirical innovators.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 272 pages
  • 132.08 x 200.66 x 20.32mm | 181.44g
  • HarperPerennial
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0061825921
  • 9780061825927
  • 492,461

Back cover copy

In Intellectuals, Paul Johnson offered a fascinating portrait of the minds that have shaped the modern world. In Creators, he examined a host of outstanding and prolific creative spirits. And in Heroes, he brought together a galaxy of commanding figures from the annals of Western history. Now Johnson turns his impressive intellect and piercing insight to the finest wits of the Western world.

Humorists features fascinating and insightful biographical portraits of the greatest wits in history--a diverse cast of legendary funnymen who got a grand kick out of life. Johnson's selective survey includes Benjamin Franklin and the Marx Brothers, Charles Dickens and Damon Runyon, W. C. Fields and Samuel Johnson, William Hogarth and James Thurber, and features their darkest humor, broadest satire, bawdiest wit, most biting sarcasm, and more. An entertaining and erudite collection, Humorists showcases some of our sharpest minds reflecting on the human condition--its follies, pretensions, and foibles--with that greatest of all gifts: humor.
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Review quote

"Warmly appealing . . . . This book's long view, and its deep eccentricities, are what give it a burnished glow . . . . It's a pleasure to sit around the gently crackling fire that is Mr. Johnson's mind." -- New York Times "Johnson assembles a truly enlightening and readable history of humor." -- Washington Post "A rich set of essays . . . . Johnson casts a wide net and he hauls in good material . . . . Fine anecdotes, examples, and insights . . . . Handsomely written." -- The Economist "Johnson masterfully weaves a narrative line among the figures, many of whom don't spring to mind as comic, with a deep appreciation for their wit in writing, filmmaking, painting, and living." -- Booklist (starred review)
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About Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson is a historian whose work ranges over the millennia and the whole gamut of human activities. He regularly writes book reviews for several UK magazines and newspapers, such as the Literary Review and The Spectator, and he lectures around the world. He lives in London, England.
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Rating details

109 ratings
3.22 out of 5 stars
5 10% (11)
4 25% (27)
3 46% (50)
2 17% (18)
1 3% (3)
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