Andy Borowitz on Profiles in Ignorance: How America's Politicians Got Dumb and Dumber

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Our guest this week is Andy Borowitz. Andy is an award-winning comedian and New York Times bestselling author. He grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, and graduated from Harvard College, where he became President of the Harvard Lampoon. In 1998, he began contributing humor to The New Yorker’s “Shouts & Murmurs” and “Talk of the Town” departments, and in 2001, he created “The Borowitz Report,” a satirical news column, which has millions of readers around the world. In 2012, The New Yorker began publishing “The Borowitz Report.” As a storyteller, he hosted “Stories at the Moth” from 1999 to 2009. As a comedian, he has played to sold-out venues around the world, including during his national tour, “Make America Not Embarrassing Again,” from 2018 to 2020. His new book Profiles in Ignorance: How America's Politicians Got Dumb and Dumber is now available.

Review

“How did we slide into the abyss of liking our politicians to be—or to act—dumb rather than smart? In this funny but serious book, Andy Borowitz chronicles our embrace of anti-intellectualism.” —Walter Isaacson, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Code Breaker
“This is one of these brilliant books that makes you laugh until you cry. Borowitz masterfully throws light (and shade) on the confederacy of dunces who have fumbled their way into power. His writing has never been smarter, sharper, or more necessary.” —Susan Orlean, New York Times bestselling author of The Library Book
“A devastatingly funny takedown of a veritable Mount Rushmore of incompetents . . . In the hallowed tradition of Will Rogers, Mark Twain, H.L. Mencken, Ambrose Bierce, and other clear-eyed satirists, Borowitz skewers all manner of chronically befuddled, willfully ignorant dolts. . . . Ravaging this seemingly endless rogues’ gallery of buffoonery and corruption, Borowitz marshals mind-boggling, breathtaking evidence. . . . While there are countless laughs in the book, they have a rueful edge given that we are all affected by such widespread ignorance.” Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Readers may laugh, cry, or swear under their breath (sometimes all at once) with this scathing survey of the seemingly increasing ignorance of American politicians. Borowitz, a writer of page and screen and satirist for The New Yorker, humorously examines the ever-increasing, lowering-of-the-bar expectations of presidential candidates’ knowledge and beyond in this book that is perfect for fans of The Daily Show or John Lithgow’s “Dumpty” series. . . . For readers who have ever looked at the political landscape and asked how or why, this is a book that will inform and infuriate.” Library Journal (starred review)
“Andy makes me laugh out loud, that’s a given. In this book he has also made me think out loud. Profiles in Ignorance is hilarious, original, scary, prescient and a wake-up call for us all. A must read.” —Susie Essman, HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm
“[Borowitz] sheds light on the cultural and economic trends that gave intellectualism a bad name and identifies the political operatives . . . who facilitated the rise of ignorance. Fans of The Borowitz Report will gobble this up.” Publishers Weekly

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