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
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.
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