From Hogarth to Noel CowardBook - 2010
The 2006 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient and author of Intellectuals presents a historical survey of Western culture's leading humorists in a variety of styles, evaluating the contributions of figures ranging from Benjamin Franklin and the Marx Brothers to W. C. Fields and James Thurber. 30,000 first printing.
“It is Johnson’s gift that he can make his subjects human and fallible enough that we would…recognize them instantly, while also illuminating what made them heroes.” —Washington Post Book World on Heroes
“Johnson is a clear, intelligent, forceful writer, and nothing if not thorough.” —Wall Street Journal
Paul Johnson, the acclaimed author of Creators, Heroes, and the New York Times bestseller Intellectuals, returns with a captivating collection of biographical portraits of the Western world’s greatest wits and humorists. With chapters dedicated to history’s sharpest tongues and most piercing pens, including Benjamin Franklin, Toulouse-Lautrec, G.K. Chesterton, Damon Runyan, W.C. Fields, the Marx Brothers, and many more, Johnson’s Humorists is an exciting compendium of our most enduring comical and satirical innovators.
The author of the masterly volumes Intellectuals, Creators, and Heroes returns with a collection of biographical portraits of the greatest humorists and wits in history.
In Intellectuals, Paul Johnson offered a fascinating portrait of the minds that have shaped the modern world. In Creators, he examined a host of outstanding and prolific creative spirits. And in Heroes, he brought together a galaxy of commanding figures from the annals of Western history. Now Johnson turns his impressive intellect and piercing insight to the finest wits of the Western world.
His is a selective survey across history and includes a diverse cast of legendary humorists who got a grand kick out of life, including Benjamin Franklin and the Marx Brothers, Charles Dickens and Damon Runyon, W.C. Fields and Samuel Johnson, William Hogarth and James Thurber. Including darkest humor, broad satire, bawdy wit, biting sarcasm, and more, this entertaining and erudite collection showcases some of our sharpest minds reflecting on the human condition's follies, pretensions, and foibles with that greatest of gifts: humor.
Presents profiles of the some of the notable humorists and wits of modern history, including William Hogarth, Charles Dickens, Charlie Chaplin, and James Thurber.
"In the tradition of Paul Johnson's Intellectuals, Creators, and Heroes, a new book of biographical portraits of the greatest humorists and wits in modern history"--