• Profiles in Ignorance

  • How America's Politicians Got Dumb and Dumber
  • By: Andy Borowitz
  • Narrated by: Andy Borowitz
  • Length: 8 hrs and 51 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (533 ratings)

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Profiles in Ignorance

By: Andy Borowitz
Narrated by: Andy Borowitz
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Publisher's Summary

Andy Borowitz, “one of the funniest people in America” (CBS Sunday Morning), brilliantly examines the intellectual deterioration of American politics, from Ronald Reagan to Dan Quayle, from George W. Bush to Sarah Palin, to its apotheosis in Donald J. Trump.

The winner of the first-ever National Press Club award for humor, Andy Borowitz has been called a “Swiftian satirist” (The Wall Street Journal) and “one of the country’s finest satirists” (The New York Times). Millions of fans and New Yorker readers enjoy his satirical news column “The Borowitz Report”. Now, in Profiles in Ignorance, he offers a witty, spot-on diagnosis of our country’s political troubles by showing how ignorant leaders are degrading, embarrassing, and endangering our nation.

Borowitz argues that over the past 50 years, American politicians have grown increasingly allergic to knowledge, and mass media have encouraged the election of ignoramuses by elevating candidates who are better at performing than thinking. Starting with Ronald Reagan’s first campaign for governor of California in 1966 and culminating with the election of Donald J. Trump to the White House, Borowitz shows how, during the age of 24-hour news and social media, the US has elected politicians to positions of great power whose lack of the most basic information is terrifying. In addition to Reagan, Quayle, Bush, Palin, and Trump, Borowitz covers a host of congresspersons, senators, and governors who have helped lower the bar over the past five decades.

Profiles in Ignorance aims to make us both laugh and cry: laugh at the idiotic antics of these public figures, and cry at the cataclysms these icons of ignorance have caused. But most importantly, the book delivers a call to action and a cause for optimism: History doesn’t move in a straight line, and we can change course if we act now.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2022 Andy Borowitz. All rights reserved. (P)2022 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.

What listeners say about Profiles in Ignorance

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Fascinating, Familiar and Frightening Tales

The facts presented here will be familiar to progressive listeners of a certain age who lived through them just as Mr. Borowitz has. There is little compiled in this audiobook that I haven't heard before. But the stories gain an overpowering force and perspective when gathered together as he has done here and placed within the context of America's shift from repulsion to tolerance and - ultimately - celebration of stupidity. While the incidents related in this book are entirely factual, unlike Borowitz's satirical writings, "Profiles In Ignorance" is still very funny. Borowitz offers wry and candid commentary, delivered in his signature deadpan manner, that will keep you chuckling throughout. He also somehow manages to channel the spirit of most of these political figures when he quotes them. He doesn't do "impressions" of these folks in his reading; rather, he captures their essence and inhabits their psyche as he reads their words... from Reagan to Dan Quayle to Sarah Palin to "W" to Trump... it's a most satisfying and fully realized theatrical interpretation, not just an audiobook "narration."

4 people found this helpful

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Lacks the borrowed wit and the "so-what" analysis

This book does not have Mr. Borowitz's signature satire. It presents a collection of "dumb" behaviors by former US presidents and recent presidential candidates and points out that America's politicians are getting stupider.

It selects well-organized examples and stories to demonstrate US politicians' "devolution" trend. However, it does not provide sufficient analysis and reasoning to support the declaration. The lack of underlying reasons for such phenomena undermines the argument.

Furthermore, some of the actions/examples are taken purposefully by the actor. By categorizing them as "dumb" - which is intention-neutral - the book excuses the actor's intention and might have sugarcoated the severity of those behaviors.

If you like fun facts or presidential trivia, this book is for you. If you want to understand the reasons and implications of these incidents, this book might come up short.

If you want to read about the political divide and the deeper reasons behind it, I recommend "The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion" by Jonathan Haidt (2012). Although written ten years ago, its findings still shed insightful light on what happened in the past decades in the US.

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Would Be Hilarious If Not True

When you consider the facts that Mr. Borowitz brings to light, your first impulse is to cringe, but after awhile, once it becomes clear how determined and ingrained it is in the MAGAt crowd to drag us kicking and screaming into a stupidity hellscape, it’s almost impossible not to throw one’s hands into the air, accept the fact that we are being driven into oblivion by a full and seemingly irreversible embrace of stupidity and just kick back and wait for the inevitable obliteration, having a laugh and looking for the merciful asteroid. The Redumblican Party is the end of the world as we know it, and somehow I feel fine. Mr. Borowitz makes that journey fascinating.

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makes you think

very well written , the book really highlights some interesting topics of passed elections and just how we are viewed as a people in the eyes of politicians

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Fine, but

Heard this guy on podcasts talking about the book. Should have just stick with the podcasts and saved my money.

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Wake up.

This book could be dedicated to the millions that are like my college educated relatives, who still think Trump, one, still believe in conspiracy theories, believe that Covid was just a cold, and believe that it was Antifa on January 6, up yours!


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Excellent 5* Funny

A special treat for those who has been following recent history, don’t know American history and
NEED an injection of humor and perspective.

Bravo, Andy Borowitz!

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couldn't stop listening

This was a real treat to listen to. The narration was good and I really enjoyed the humor that was in it, in spite of Borowitz saying that he was not writing as a satirist but rather a presenter of the history surrounding the dumbing down of the right wing politicians. This one will make folks shake their heads in disbelief at this reality check looking back to the ridiculous ways these politicians rose to high office in spite of their lack of competence or intelligence.

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Well worth listening to.

This book help me see how our “leadership” has become progressively worse. It was fascinating to listen as I heard about many events and politicians I’ve lived through in my 72 years.

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Learning while laughing

I thought this was a really good book that was not only informative, but it was also quite entertaining. I also love the fact that the author narrated the book. I also particularly appreciated the authors suggestions about getting involved in what might work to make a difference.

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  • Graham Thompson
  • 10-13-22

Tales of toxic celebrity culture

Very well narrated and plenty of tragically hilarious material with more to follow in future volumes I hope.
Thank You

1 person found this helpful

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  • Eoin leen
  • 10-12-22

Great - buy it!

An epic journey through the recent history of American political culture.

Sometimes enraging, sometimes depressing, but highly engaging and always hilarious.

1 person found this helpful

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  • William
  • 11-25-22

Intelligent, important and lots of fun!

It's scary to see what a mess we've made of selecting the best and the brightest to govern. It seems that those who rise highest are the least qualified. Now that we see it and understand it better, we can change. Perhaps...

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  • jeffrey
  • 11-19-22

Must Read

This book looks through the smoke screen to reveal a very scary reality that our government is run by highly unqualified people. It’s baffling how we as a country have survived this far.