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3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (28 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: P. J. O’Rourke Narrator: Dick Hill Publisher: Brilliance Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2004 ISBN: 9781597105637
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Having unraveled the mysteries of Washington in his classic best-seller Parliament of Whores and the mysteries of economics in Eat the Rich, one of our shrewdest and most mordant foreign correspondents now turns his attention to what is these days the ultimate mystery — America’s foreign policy. Although he has written about foreigners and foreign affairs for years, P.J. O’Rourke has, like most Americans, never really thought about foreign policy. Just as a dog owner doesn’t have a “dog policy,” says P.J., “we feed foreigners, take care of them, give them treats, and when absolutely necessary, whack them with a rolled up newspaper.” But in Peace Kills, P.J. finally sets out to make sense of America’s “Great Game” (no, not the slot machines in Vegas). He visits countries on the brink of conflict, in the grips of it, and still reeling from it, starting with Kosovo, where he discovers that “whenever there’s injustice, oppression, and suffering, America will show up six months late and bomb the country next to where it’s happening.” From there, it’s on to Egypt, Israel, Kuwait, Afghanistan, and Iraq, where P.J. witnesses both the start and finish of hostilities. P.J. also examines the effect of war and peace on the home front — from the absurd hassles of airport security to the hideous specter of anthrax (luckily the only threats in his mail are from credit card companies). Peace Kills is P.J. O’Rourke at his most incisive and relevant — an eye-opening look at a world much changed since he declared in his number-one national best-seller Give War a Chance that the most troubling aspect of war is sometimes peace itself. Download and start listening now!

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Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Robertisenberg | 2/16/2014

    " I'm grateful that I spent only 25 cents on this crap -- in the overstock section of the Lawrenceville library (which is basically just a homeless shelter without any beds). For years, friends have recommended P.J. O'Rourke, and after reading an agreeable Atlantic article (about jumbo-jets), I figured I'd give O'Rourke a shot. However he earned his reputation, it was certainly not for "Peace Kills," a collection of essays (basically) about 9/11 and its aftermath. Libertarian ethos aside, O'Rourke is as smug as his press-photo smile; his mind seems made up before he approaches a topic, and it comes about as an elongated thumbs-up/thumbs-down analysis (Kuwait good, U.S. soldiers good, Bush bad, Clinton bad, government bad, Iraqis selfish, etc.) His analysis is petty and boring (essentially, the Iraqis have failed themselves because they aren't bright or courteous enough to form a line while waiting for aid). Its one redeemer is a first-person essay about an anti-war rally in D.C.; he offers no thesis, but records the signs and costumes sported by the hodgepodge of activists. Anti-war as I am, it was good to hear a conservative perspective -- that the anti-war movement is often anarchic; protesters often use busking and goofy masks to announce their perspective, but the messages are often eerie or conflicting. Signs equating Israelis to Nazis is pointlessly offensive and it makes Leftists look stupid. The Left is generally too anxious, these days, to modify its tack; O'Rourke may be obnoxious, but he has pointed out, with relative gentleness, the weakness of the Left's tactics. In a way, he's doing the Left a favor. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jim | 2/14/2014

    " P.J. O'Rourke's books are not single, large works, per se, but are collections of his magazine pieces compiled and bound by mirthful publishers; sort of a Xeroxing For Dollars scheme. Anecdotal by nature, O'Rourke casts his sarcastic eye upon the middle east in this collection, traveling through Egypt, Iraq etc. Part historical drinkalogue, part chumming with the local populace fiesta, O'Rourke's observations make us smile, wince, sometimes guffaw (although not nearly as much in this collection in comparison to previous tales) and provide a man-on-the-street glimpse of daily life in regions normally presented only by a scandal-drooling press corps. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Kevin | 2/11/2014

    " A struggle to finish. Still didn't quite get the point of the book. Was basically about his experiences in war torn areas. Some satire. Some decent jokes. Ragged on most everyone, both sides of the political aisle. Most of his topics were superficial and lacked in depth analysis. Odd thing to say about a book written by a journalist. Anyway, it didn't have a point. Did I mention that already? I guess that's my point; that he didn't have a point. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Christopher Davis | 2/9/2014

    " A must read for the 21st century conservative. O'Rourke takes American rhetoric and ideology and presents it in a way that makes you realize how "we" sound to the world. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 James | 2/2/2014

    " Parts are funny, but not that funny. Its nice that he is critical of both democrats and republicans. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 David | 1/17/2014

    " Ho-hum. Another great read from P.J. Luv it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mike Sonby | 1/14/2014

    " Re-reading now "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mary | 1/13/2014

    " Excellent storeis and very interesting facts. O'Rourke compaers and differntiates the Democrats and Republicans while sharing his stories from his world travels. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Walt Murray | 1/11/2014

    " If you don't feel guilty about reading a funny book about war, you will love this. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bruce Reiter | 10/17/2013

    " I should feel better about this book. It is a collection of essays and i admit to a love-hate relationship to o'rourke's writings. one should read it and revel in his descriptions. the sections on iwo jima and the civil affairs reservists are well worth it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ellis | 10/10/2013

    " This book was pretty annoying. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tara | 10/1/2013

    " Essays on current events, i.e Iraq war. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jazza1971 | 9/4/2013

    " Not as funny as some of PJ's other works, but a worthwile read. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jason Williams | 12/30/2012

    " This book sucks! If only O'Rourke was as witty and important as he (apparently) thinks he is. This is the problem with the writing/publishing industry: people think they have something important to say, and bam! there goes a forest. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Craig J. | 7/28/2012

    " Peace Kills: America's Fun New Imperialism by P. J. O'Rourke (2005) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jason Farley | 4/17/2012

    " This book was very good. I read it a couple years back and just reread it. His journal entries after 9/11 are particularly moving and his general take on the complexity vs. oversimplification was eye-opening on foreign affairs. Also, it is P.J. O'Rourke, so it was funny. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Waxy McClure | 2/10/2012

    " This was my least favorite book by O'Rouke. It was ok, but I have come to expect much more from him. Put a few conflicts into perspective after doing more research ... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jonathan | 11/23/2011

    " Most disappointing of all of P.J. O'Rourke's books. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alex | 8/22/2011

    " Some laugh out loud sections of O'Rourke's travels through Kosovo, Iraq, Kuwait, Israel and the Occupied Territories. He's supposed to be writing from a conservative perspective of some sort, but it's more a study in Absurdism, which is entertaining. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kim Z | 8/20/2011

    " no one else can make a chapter called "9/11 Diary" laugh-out-loud funny. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rajendra prabhu k | 6/21/2011

    " no review would do justice to the book, it has to consumed in an appropriate manner "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Stephen | 6/15/2011

    " This guy is one of my favorite foreign correspondent/opinion editorialists of all time, which makes his recent decline especially painful to watch, and also makes people only familiar with his more contemporary work think that I have bad judgment. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Curtiss | 5/22/2011

    " Not quite up to the standard of P.J.'s earlier book lauding the shrewd and judicious application of military force, Give War a Chance; in this case he considers the military's role in the post-911 world. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 jack | 3/19/2011

    " Good humorous, non-partisan analysis of Middle East countries in the post 9/11 world, from a perspective that only PJ can deliver. Gets past the political kool-aid, and looks at real situations. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Christopher | 12/16/2010

    " A must read for the 21st century conservative. O'Rourke takes American rhetoric and ideology and presents it in a way that makes you realize how "we" sound to the world. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tara | 1/21/2010

    " Essays on current events, i.e Iraq war. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 James | 4/29/2009

    " Parts are funny, but not that funny. Its nice that he is critical of both democrats and republicans. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jarrod | 2/17/2009

    " Fun new imperialism? With a title like this I expected the book to be funny, but it just doesn't hit the right marks "

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About the Author

P. J. O’Rourke is the author of Modern Manners, The Bachelor Home Companion, Republican Party Reptile, Holidays in Hell, Parliament of Whores, Give War a Chance, and All the Trouble in the World. He writes for Rolling Stone, Automobile, and American Spectator and lives in New Hampshire and Washington, DC.

About the Narrator

Dick Hill, named a Golden Voice by AudioFile magazine, is one of the most awarded narrators in the business, having earned several Audie Awards and dozens of AudioFile Earphones Awards. In addition to narrating, he has both acted in and written for the theater.