The Sanity of Satire

The Sanity of Satire

Surviving Politics One Joke at a Time

Al Gini, Abraham Singer


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Political humor and satire are, perhaps, as old as comedy itself, and they are crucial to our society and our collective sense of self. Satire is confrontational. It’s about pushback, dissent, discord, disappointment, and demonstrating the absurdity of the status quo. This book is an attempt to explore how these aspects of satire help secure our sanity.

Aristotle famously said that humans are naturally political animals. We need political community to flourish and live good lives. But politics also entails unpopular decisions, oppression, and power struggles. Satire is a vehicle through which we reflect on and challenge the irrational, incomprehensible, and intolerable nature of our lives without becoming totally despondent or depressed.

In a poignant, pithy, but not ponderous manner, Al Gini and Abraham Singer delve into the history of satire to rejoice in its triumphs and watch its development from ancient graffiti to the latest late-night TV talk show.


Al Gini:
Al Gini is a Professor of Business Ethics and Chair of the Department of Management in the School of Business Administration at Loyola University Chicago. He is also the cofounder and long time Associate Editor of Business Ethics Quarterly, the journal of the Society for Business Ethics. For over twenty-three years he has been the Resident Philosopher on National Public Radio’s Chicago affiliate, WBEZ-FM, and he regularly lectures to community and professional organizations on issues of business and ethics. His books include: My Job My Self: Work and the Creation of the Modern Individual (Routledge, 2000); The Importance of Being Lazy: In Praise of Play, Leisure and Vacations (Routledge, 2003); Why It’s Hard to Be Good (Routledge, 2006); and, most recently, he helped to edit and wrote the prologues for The Seven Deadly Sins Sampler (The Great Books Foundation, 2007) and Even Deadlier: A Sequel (The Great Books Foundation, 2009).|||

Al Gini is a professor of business ethics at Loyola University Chicago. For over twenty-seven years, he was the resident philosopher on National Public Radio’s Chicago affiliate, WBEZ-FM.

Abraham Singer is assistant professor of business ethics at Loyola University Chicago. He thinks he’s funny.