Retail pak HighBridge Audio 2002
CS ISBN 1565115767 $21.95 Four cassettes
This collection is both a joy to hear and a useful reference. Much of American humor incorporates aural elements such as slang or regional dialect; TonyRandall's skilled narration brings these qualities to life. Baker provides examples from the Founding Fathers (Ben Franklin) to contemporary humorists (O'Rourke, Ivins, and Baker himself). Self-deprecation (Lincoln), puncturing social expectations (Hughes, Mencken, Twain), skepticism about politics (Ward, Buchwald) and, always, turning a loving, if sardonic, eye on one's own family (Bombeck, Thurber) recur repeatedly as defining threads in the American humor tradition. However, the lack of organization is irritating. Baker jumps around historically, there is no table of contents, and the tapes don't indicate what is on each of them. G.T.B. (c) AudioFile 2002, Portland, Maine [Published: AUG/SEP 02]
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