30 SatiresBook - 2003
Widely celebrated for his political essays, Lewis Lapham is a satirist who belongs in the company of Ambrose Bierce, H.L. Mencken, and Mark Twain. Over the last twenty years he has experimented with satire in its several forms—as burlesque, pasquinade, invective, and deadpan jest.
This first assemblage of Lapham’s satires presents thirty pieces that hold their currency and humor against the tide of social and political change that has engulfed American society in recent times. He reduces to absurdity many of the topics of the day that are often treated portentiously: Dickens’s A Christmas Carol is retold to praise the virtues of remorseless greed; the hydrogen bomb is introduced as a solemn dinner guest who doesn’t play tennis or speak English; gene banks take the form of well-trained pigs that accompany their wealthy owners in the first-class cabins of transatlantic jets.