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Extended Audio Sample Homo Politicus: The Strange and Scary Tribes that Run Our Government Audiobook, by Dana Milbank Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (108 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Dana Milbank Narrator: Johnny Heller Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2008 ISBN: 9781400176045
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Washington’s most acerbic (and feared) columnist, the Washington Post’s Dana Milbank, skewers the peculiar and alien tribal culture of politics.

Deep within the forbidding land encircled by the Washington Beltway lives the tribe known as Homo politicus. Their ways are strange, even repulsive, to civilized human beings; their arcane rites often impenetrable; their language coded and obscure. Violating their complex taboos can lead to sudden, harsh, and irrevocable punishment. Normal Americans have long feared Homo politicus, with good reason. But fearless anthropologist Dana Milbank has spent many years immersed in the dark heart of Washington, D.C., and has produced this indispensable portrait of a bizarre culture whose tribal ways are as hilarious as they are outrageous.

Milbank’s anthropological lens is highly illuminating, whether examining the mating rituals of Homo politicus (which have little to do with traditional concepts of romantic love), demonstrating how status is displayed in the Beltway’s rigid caste system (such as displaying a wooden egg from the White House Easter Egg Roll) or detailing the precise ritual sequence of human sacrifice whenever a scandal erupts (the human sacrificed does not have to be the guiltiest party, just the lower ranked).

Milbank’s lacerating wit mows down the pompous, the stupid, and the corrupt among Democrats, Republicans, reporters, and bureaucrats by naming names. Every appalling anecdote in this book is, alas, true.

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Aaron | 1/7/2014

    " Truth is stranger than fiction, and the author's wit makes it all the more enjoyable. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ryan | 11/21/2013

    " Funny, as Milbank always is. Essentially a repackaging of the interesting and newsworthy political headlines of the last decade, through the lens of anthropological themes. Sometimes forced, but usually incisive, funny, and sprinkled with anecdotes you hadn't heard before. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 kelly | 10/18/2013

    " Maybe i should also but this under haunting - or maybe just sickened. The behavours of the homo politicus is appalling. However, what is worse is that we the people continue to put up with it. We truly need reform at the highest levels rather than laws made for the highest bidders. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Erin | 9/5/2013

    " This book was fairly entertaining and full of great stories. My favorite part was the glossery at the end. The what they say translated into what they really mean. "I will continue to work to do the people's business" translated "I am about to be indicted". "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Matt Ferraguto | 6/23/2013

    " Not as strong as Smashmouth. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Benjamin | 4/5/2013

    " Read 10 pages. Stopped. So boring if you know anything at all about politics. What a snoozer. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Christina | 2/6/2013

    " Supposed to be funny, but really SAD book about how the politicians that we elect to represent us do everything but. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Doug Kabak | 10/10/2012

    " Very funny, very informative & more than a bit depressing. I came to it a bit late--he needs to update it. I'm sure the DC hijinks remain the same--if not greater. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Uncle | 5/16/2012

    " MilBank knows The Beltway...in this book he gets a little over wrought with social anthropologist humor...trying to show how tribes work and their history.... that gets to be a distraction. But Milbank knows the whose, whats and hows..... ir did... his rep might be sullied more recently. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jenifer | 1/22/2012

    " So Dana Milbank is an affront to objective journalism. So what? This book is kinda funny, in a really gross, icky kind of way. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sheik | 10/8/2011

    " just how corrupt and inept is our congress? it's ALL here! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kasia | 9/8/2011

    " Our country is run by a circus. I always liked the circus. That's probably why I like DC. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chris | 6/25/2011

    " This wasn't as funny as I had anticipated it would be...honestly, some of the stories of the function of American government are really frightening. Still, if you're interested in the inner workings of Washington DC, this is a decent read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Tara | 4/6/2011

    " I had high hopes, but Milbank tries too hard to be funny, re-hashing old stories that anyone who watches the news already knows. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Converse | 2/12/2011

    " An amusing examination of the habits of mind & action of Washington politicians, with all sorts of interesting tidbits, posing as an anthropological investigation of their ways "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Benjamin Plume | 9/29/2010

    " Not nearly as funny as I'd hoped, but it makes one think. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sheik | 8/22/2010

    " just how corrupt and inept is our congress? it's ALL here! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Converse | 4/10/2010

    " An amusing examination of the habits of mind & action of Washington politicians, with all sorts of interesting tidbits, posing as an anthropological investigation of their ways
    "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kasia | 9/26/2009

    " Our country is run by a circus. I always liked the circus. That's probably why I like DC. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Uncle | 9/12/2009

    " MilBank knows The Beltway...in this book he gets a little over wrought with social anthropologist humor...trying to show how tribes work and their history.... that gets to be a distraction. But Milbank knows the whose, whats and hows..... ir did... his rep might be sullied more recently. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Tara | 11/17/2008

    " I had high hopes, but Milbank tries too hard to be funny, re-hashing old stories that anyone who watches the news already knows. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Benjamin | 7/31/2008

    " Read 10 pages. Stopped. So boring if you know anything at all about politics. What a snoozer. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 kelly | 5/24/2008

    " Maybe i should also but this under haunting - or maybe just sickened. The behavours of the homo politicus is appalling. However, what is worse is that we the people continue to put up with it. We truly need reform at the highest levels rather than laws made for the highest bidders. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Erin | 5/14/2008

    " This book was fairly entertaining and full of great stories. My favorite part was the glossery at the end. The what they say translated into what they really mean. "I will continue to work to do the people's business" translated "I am about to be indicted". "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Christina | 3/16/2008

    " Supposed to be funny, but really SAD book about how the politicians that we elect to represent us do everything but. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chris | 2/12/2008

    " This wasn't as funny as I had anticipated it would be...honestly, some of the stories of the function of American government are really frightening. Still, if you're interested in the inner workings of Washington DC, this is a decent read.
    "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jenifer | 2/5/2008

    " So Dana Milbank is an affront to objective journalism. So what? This book is kinda funny, in a really gross, icky kind of way. "

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About the Author

Dana Milbank is a columnist for the Washington Post. Milbank is the author of Smash Mouth: Two Years in the Gutter with Al Gore and George W. Bush—Notes from the 2000 Campaign Trail, as well as the author of the polemic biography of conservative pundit Glenn Beck: Tears of a Clown: Glenn Beck and the Tea Bagging of America. He is a graduate of Yale University, where he was a member of Trumbull College, the Progressive Party of the Yale Political Union. He is a graduate of Sanford H. Calhoun High School in Merrick, New York. Milbank has been married since 1993 to Dona Lynn DePasquale.

About the Narrator

Johnny Heller, a two-time winner of the prestigious Audie Award, was named a top voice of 2008 and 2009 and selected as one of the Top 50 Narrators of the Twentieth Century by AudioFile magazine. His adult and children’s book narrations have earned him multiple AudioFile Earphones Awards.