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P. J. O’Rourke says we’ve worked ourselves into a state of anger and perplexity, and it’s no surprise because perplexed and angry are what Americans have been since the Roanoke Colony got lost. This astute and entertaining look at the state of these United States includes essays on everything from our fraught history (“O Beautiful for . . . Pilgrim Feet?”) to the political effects of social media (“Whose Bright Idea Was It to Make Sure that Every Idiot in the World Was in Touch with Every Other Idiot?”). A plan is advanced to reform federal poverty programs, “Just Give Them the Money.” And a rant is made against the “Internet of Things” because your juicer is sending fake news to your Fitbit about what’s in your refrigerator.
Included is a quiz to determine whether you’re a “Coastal” or a “Heartlander” (you know organic, fair-traded, locavore, and gluten-free, but do you know hay from straw?), an impassioned plea to license politicians (we license beauticians!), and much more. This is P. J. at his finest.