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Our Gang Paperback – May 29 2001
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"Disturbing, logical...and very funny.... In short, a masterpiece."—The New York Times Book Review
"Perhaps the funniest and most complex exercise in sustained political satire since Animal Farm." — Newsweek
"Outrageously hilarious." —Saturday Review of Books
"Brilliant satire in the real Swift tradition." —Anthony Burgess
From the Inside Flap
A ferocious political satire in the great tradition, Our Gang" is Philip Roth's brilliantly indignant response to the phenomenon of Richard M. Nixon.
In the character of Trick E. Dixon, Roth shows us a man who outdoes the severest cynic, a peace-loving Quaker and believer in the sanctity of human life who doesn't have a problem with killing unarmed women and children in self-defense. A master politician with an honest sneer, he finds himself battling the Boy Scouts, declaring war on Pro-Pornography Denmark, all the time trusting in the basic indifference of the voting public.
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The book does have weak passages, like the whole Curt Flood abortion and Boy Scout murder routine, which drags on and on. And a lot of Roth's gibes at Tricky for being a "closet queer" are painfully homophobic and shallow.
But the final chapter, "On The Comeback Trail, or Tricky In Hell" is really a stand alone masterpiece. Tricky gives a speech which is utterly demonic and yet filled with Cold War rhetoric that would have been absolutely appropriate for any politician from Eisenhower to Reagan. "We cannot be triumphant over goodness with a strategy of simply holding the line."
The idea that "Tricky Dixon" was a power hungry manipulator seems well accepted today. But when this book came out, the idea was still in its embryonic states. Essentially, Tricky manipulates the voting population with a pro-life stance that he takes to an extreme. As the chapter titles might imply, it causes an unexpected demise. Tricky's dastardly tricks along the way to the end seem preposeterous. Yet what is funny is generally not far from the truth. Those same sections run too long with some of the weaker points of humor, the fast pace is certain to keep readers engaged.
Though slight in length, those with knowledge of the Nixon Administration will enjoy this book. Even those with a certain degree of political insight that is less than conservative are likely to enjoy this satire.