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The Art of the Political Putdown: The Greatest Comebacks, Ripostes, and Retorts in History

The Art of the Political Putdown: The Greatest Comebacks, Ripostes, and Retorts in History

Current price: $16.95
Publication Date: April 7th, 2020
Chronicle Books


The Art of the Political Putdown is a book of over 300 witty verbal jabs and ripostes from politicians around the world, all of whom share a common sharp tongue.

Liberal or conservative, humor can be a powerful weapon in any politician's arsenal, and political journalists Chris Lamb and Will Moredock have seen their fair share of quips, witty remarks, and sarcastic pleasantries.

In mining the past few thousand years of political history, they've unearthed a treasure trove of humorous exchanges, from ancient Rome to modern day, to compile this collection of hilarious comebacks and putdowns.

• Features 11 brief essays analyzing the use of humor and wit in various political contexts
• Even-handed, intelligent, and lighthearted political humor that gives readers from the Left and the Right something to laugh about

The Art of the Political Putdown is filled with famous and lesser-known politicians at their sassiest, along with short essays.

This is a comprehensive, nonpartisan collection of witticisms, scathing burns, and mic-drop-worthy insults throughout history.

• A rare political humor book with something for everyone, and a welcome reminder that politics can also be a source of laughter
• Perfect as a gift for politics and history buffs and for anyone who appreciates smart humor and top-notch wit
• Great for those who loved Whose Boat Is This Boat?: Comments That Don't Help in the Aftermath of a Hurricane by the Staff of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Shade: A Tale of Two Presidents by Pete Souza, and The Wit & Wisdom of Winston Churchill by James C. Humes

About the Author

Chris Lamb, PhD, is a professor of journalism at Indiana University–Purdue University at Indianapolis. He's an author, historian, lecturer, satirist, and columnist. He is the author of ten books, including Jackie Robinson: A Spiritual Biography, Conspiracy of Silence: Sportswriters and the Long Campaign to Desegregate Baseball and Drawn to Extremes: The Use and Abuse of Editorial Cartoons. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Sports Illustrated,,, and the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Will Moredock was a staff and freelance writer for more than 30 years. His work appeared in magazines and newspapers around the nation, including the Washington Post, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and the Charlotte Observer. He was a columnist for Charleston City Paper for more than ten years, where he wrote about South Carolina politics. His books include Banana Republic Revisited: 75 Years of Madness, Mayhem and Minigolf in Myrtle Beach, and Living in Fear: Race, Politics and the Republican Party in South Carolina.

Praise for The Art of the Political Putdown: The Greatest Comebacks, Ripostes, and Retorts in History

"If you're pining for truly classic zingers, check out an elegant little book titled 'The Art of the Political Putdown,' by Chris Lamb and Will Moredock. They've combed through the vast history of contentious political rhetoric to compile more than 300 of the best lines - from Macedonian King Archelaus to New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez."

-The Washington Post