Humorists: From Hogarth to Noel Coward

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9780061825927: Humorists: From Hogarth to Noel Coward
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“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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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.

About the Author:

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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