cover image Dave Barry Slept Here

Dave Barry Slept Here

Dave Barry. Random House (NY), $15.95 (178pp) ISBN 978-0-394-56541-5

Miami Herald syndicated columnist Barry here assembles a funny U.S. history replete with malapropisms (Ferdinard and Imelda of Spain financed Columbus), parodies (``This land is your land, / This land is my land, / Looks like one of us / Has a forged deed to the land.''), literal-mindedness (President Monroe Doctrine) and, above all, anachronisms (the Wrights' first flight was canceled because of equipment problems at O'Hare). Several clever gags run through the book--one about the significant contributions of women and minorities (although none is ever detailed), another ascribing the date of every major event to October 8 (for ease in remembering) and a third featuring the Hawley-Smoot tariff, which had an immediate impact on the Great Depression. There are few heroes in Barry's pantheon, and only an occasional villain--principally Richard Nixon--while other widely admired figures, like Mark Twain and Winston Churchill, are given their lumps. Author tour. (June)