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The Devil's Dictionary

The Devil's Dictionary

by Ambrose Bierce

Hardback Publication Date: 16/11/2018

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DIPLOMACY, n. The patriotic art of lying for one's country

In 1881 Ambrose Bierce, journalist and former soldier for the
Union army in the Civil War, began writing satirical definitions for the San Francisco Wasp, and then for William Randolph Hearst's San Francisco Examiner. Bierce was launched on a journalistic career that would see him liked and loathed in equal measure - and earn him the title of 'the wickedest man in San Francisco'.

In his column, Bierce, a contemporary of Mark Twain, brought his biting black humour to bear on spoof definitions of everyday words, writing deliberate mistranslations of the vocabulary of the establishment, the Church and the politics of his day, and shining a sardonic light on hypocrisy and deception.

These columns formed the beginnings of a dictionary, first published in 1906 as The Cynic's Word Book. Over 100 years later, Bierce's redefinitions still give us pause for thought - REPORTER, n. A writer who guesses his way to the truth and dispels it with a tempest of words; UN-AMERICAN, adj. Wicked, intolerable, heathenish; POLITICS, n. The conduct of public affairs for private advantage - making for a timely new edition of this irreverent and provocative satire.
ISBN:
9781851245079
9781851245079
Category:
Parodies & spoofs
Format:
Hardback
Publication Date:
16-11-2018
Publisher:
Bodleian Library
Country of origin:
United Kingdom
Pages:
256
Dimensions (mm):
198x129x0mm
Ambrose Bierce

A veteran of the American Civil War who fought at Shiloh and Chickamauga in the Union ranks, Bierce became one of America's best-known writers and journalists, admired for his insolent, entertaining and sometimes courageous columns.

In 1913 he set off for Mexico, then in the throes of revolution, and was never seen again. Ralph Steadman is the author of many illustrated books including Sigmund Freud, I Leonardo, The Big I Am, The Scar-Strangled Banner, Alice and Animal Farm. His most recent publication is the novel, Doodaaa.

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