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Synopsis: P.J. O’Rourke began writing funny things in 1960s underground” newspapers, became editor-in-chief of National Lampoon, then spent 20 years reporting for Rolling Stone and The Atlantic Monthly as the world’s only trouble spot humorist, going to wars, riots, rebellions, and other Holidays in Hell” in more than 40 countries.
Now O’Rourke, born at the peak of the Baby Boom, turns his keen eye on himself and his 75 million accomplices in making America what it is today. With laughter as an analytical tool, he uses his own very average, if sometimes uproarious experiences as a key to his exceptional age cohort. He writes about the way the post-war generation somehow came of age by never quite growing up and created a better society by turning society upside down.
THE BABY BOOM: How it Got That Way And It Wasn’t My Fault And I’ll Never Do It Again is at once a social history, a group memoir of collectively impaired memory, a hilarious attempt to understand his generation’s messy hilarity, and a celebration of the mess the Baby Boom has made.
P.J. O'Rourke and Dave Barry in Conversation
In the first paragraph of the prologue to his new book, The Baby Boom: How It Got That Way... And It Wasn't My Fault... And I'll Never Do It Again, political humor writer P.J. O'Rourke declares in no uncertain terms that he is "full of crap." Similarly, in the introduction to his upcoming book, You Can Date Boys When You're Forty, humor columnist Dave Barry explains that his book, despite its subtitle "Parenting and Other Topics He Knows Very Little About," is not about parenting.
It's easy to imagine that when these two bestselling authors and longtime pals get together, commiserative silliness ensues. But in this case, no imagination is necessary. We popped in on an email exchange between these two masters of existential trolling. Here's what happened:
Dave Barry: P.J. — I loved The Baby Boom which manages to be both hilarious and insightful. What I want to know is: How did you remember all that stuff? Especially about the '60s. Didn't you take drugs? Of course not! Neither did I! Drugs are bad! But my memories of that era are very purple-hazy, whereas you seem to remember every detail of everything that happened. How did you do that?
P.J. O'Rourke: I made it up. I'm a professional reporter. I'm PAID to make things up. Actually, I do remember a lot about the '60s. Probably because I still know a lot of the same people. And they're still yelling at me about things I did back then. Keeps memories fresh. Sort of like a wife. Just kidding, dear. Sort of like a first wife. And I loved You Can Date Boys When You're Forty. You admit you went to a Justin Bieber concert. Kind of pushing the envelope even for a confessional memoir. You're brave, dude, brave.
DB: I did indeed go to a Justin Bieber concert, because my daughter really really really wanted to go because she LOVED Justin Bieber. It was terrifying. I was in Coral Gables, Florida, in 1992 when Hurricane Andrew passed over and nearly took off the roof of the home in which I was cowering. I understood then why the noise of a hurricane is always compared to a freight train. What it SHOULD be compared to is a Justin Bieber concert. Given the choice, I'd rather sit through Andrew again.
PJO: When I pick my daughters up from school they, for some reason I can't imagine, don't want to listen to Rush Limbaugh, and so they tune the radio to what sounds to me like somebody donated 200 drum sets and an Auto-Tune to a juvenile delinquent corrections facility. But does this mean today's music sucks? Yes.
Read the full conversation on Omnivoracious.
Title: The Baby Boom: How It Got That Way (And It ...
Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press
Publication Date: 2014
Book Condition: Used: Good
Book Description Atlantic Monthly Press, 2014. Book Condition: Good. 1st Edition. Former Library book. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Bookseller Inventory # GRP77008813
Book Description Atlantic Monthly Press, 2014. Book Condition: Good. 1st Edition. Ships from Reno, NV. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Bookseller Inventory # GRP91323503
Book Description Atlantic Monthly Press, 2014. Book Condition: Very Good. 1st Edition. Ships from Reno, NV. Great condition for a used book! Minimal wear. Bookseller Inventory # GRP92828508
Book Description Atlantic Monthly Press. Hardcover. Book Condition: GOOD. book was well loved but cared for. Possible ex-library copy with all the usual markings and stickers. Some light textual notes, highlighting and underling. Bookseller Inventory # 2808733742
Book Description Atlantic Monthly Press. Hardcover. Book Condition: GOOD. Good clean copy with no missing pages might be an ex library copy; Possibly may have minor marginal notes and or highlighting. Bookseller Inventory # 2812255822
Book Description Grove/Atlantic, Incorporated. Hardcover. Book Condition: Good. Ex-Library Book - will contain Library Markings. Minimal damage to cover and binding. Pages show light use. Bookseller Inventory # G0802121977I3N10
Book Description Grove/Atlantic, Incorporated. Hardcover. Book Condition: Good. Book shows minor use. Cover and Binding have minimal wear and the pages have only minimal creases. Bookseller Inventory # G0802121977I3N00
Book Description Grove/Atlantic, Incorporated. Hardcover. Book Condition: Good. Only lightly used. Book has minimal wear to cover and binding. A few pages may have small creases and minimal underlining. Bookseller Inventory # G0802121977I3N00
Book Description Grove/Atlantic, Incorporated. Hardcover. Book Condition: As New. This book is almost new and shows only very slight signs of wear. Bookseller Inventory # G0802121977I2N00
Book Description Grove/Atlantic, Incorporated. Hardcover. Book Condition: Good. Ex-Library Book - will contain Library Markings. Light shelf wear and minimal interior marks. Bookseller Inventory # G0802121977I3N10