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Caligula for President: Better American Living Through Tyranny
Caligula for President Better American Living Through Tyranny
Author: Cintra Wilson
In this inventive and biting satire, acclaimed novelist and cultural critic Cintra Wilson reimagines America?s Manifest Destiny as helmed by Caligula, the only leader in world history capable of turning our floundering democracy into a fully functioning?and totally fun?tyranny, both here and abroad. With Caligula running the show, America will f...  more »
ISBN-13: 9781596915886
ISBN-10: 1596915889
Publication Date: 9/30/2008
Pages: 256
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.

3.5 stars, based on 1 rating
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Book Type: Paperback
Members Wishing: 0
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

sevenspiders avatar reviewed Caligula for President: Better American Living Through Tyranny on + 73 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
This was one of those books that, once I saw the title, I just *had* to read it. Although it didn't turn out to be a surrealist alternate-future metafiction, like the Thursday Next stories, which was what I was expecting, I wasn't disappointed.

There's no plot, the only character is Caligula, and the bulk of the book is his argument for the inevitability and superiority of heaven-sanctioned totalitarian rule to democracy. This Caligula argues that he's the best choice for America, not because he will refrain from gross abuses of power, but because he admits freely that he will immediately begin to remove all freedoms. At least we'd know what we were getting.

Under the Caligula administration, he would be the only recognized god, thereby eliminating all current religous strife. He argues that it is phyisically impossible for a ruler with any amount of power to practice self-restraint, and cites a staggering number of examples, both ancient and recent.

Although at times Caligula for President reads less like tongue-in-cheek humor than a diatribe of Cintra Wilson's political views and displeasure with the Bush administration, the majority is spot-on, satirical and very funny. Forget the War on Terror, Caligula fought the ocean. Was it really madness to promote a horse to a Senatorial seat? Or was it a stroke of preemptive genius to keep would-be usurpers out? Caligula for President has some brilliant insights into modern government and economics drawn from one of history's most infamous despots. And that's either really funny or really sad.
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