1492 and All That: A Fool’s History of the USA by Richard Minadeo

Review: Being an American of the variety that were already there when Christopher Columbus “sailed the ocean blue”, having been born in Germany and lived half my life there, I learned a long time ago humour can be very much related to cultural perceptions. Among other things. For me, I could see where some would find this “fool’s history” amusing for the constant turn of phrase and closely coordinating play on words that basically poke fun at The USA and other countries of the world and their history, but it simply didn’t suit my personal tastes. Some slightly cynical, ironic, tongue-in-cheek observations I found interesting but basically because they were truth from my perspective. That was the irony for me.

I found it very “new” American and for the strata of the population who consider themselves intelligent, clever and “in the know”, and those who don’t “get it” as being the polar opposite of themselves. I understand as well making fun of certain groups also, as long as the original premise is correct. When the original premise is wrong in the first place, it becomes even less funny to me as it suggests that fundementally those groups have not been understood. Also some of the underlying jokes seemed to mask some very negative shots at the current president and its administration (that last part is a true misnomer these days). But maybe that’s suppose to be the funny part?  It’s marked both as fiction and non-fiction, depending on your view. If you care for comedy, satire, “roasts” and are likely a “main core” of America, you might find “1492 and All That,” but American History, of any sort, was never one of my favorite subjects.

Description: The “fool” of the title is the inept narrator, who takes us on a warm but clueless tour of US history. He stops briefly to visit American culture, the American mind and various problems he claims to solve but fails even to illuminate. Presidents get harpooned along with both parties. Yet the view is ever rosy, including a glimpse of endless prosperity that “only Yankee Doodle dares dream of.”

Publication Date: Jan. 02, 2011

Publisher: Richard Minadeo

Buy Link: Smashwords

Genre: Comedy, Satire, Parody

Author Bio:

Education: BA Syracuse University 1951
MS University of Wisconsin 1956
PhD University of Wisconsin 1965

Profession: Wayne State University Professor of
Classics 1961-1996

Publications: The Lyre of Science 1969, nominated
for a Pulitzer Prize by the Wayne
State University Press

The Golden Plectrum 1982

The Thematic Sophocles 1994

Richard Minadeo, a Youtube video where the author introduces himself to his prospective readers and shares several selections from his work “1492 and All That: A Fool’s History of the USA.”

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Filed under Fiction, Non-Fiction, Reviews

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