P. J. O'Rourke

Literary Voices 2015 Author & Speaker

P. J. O'Rourke

P. J. O'Rourke was born and raised in Toledo, Ohio, and attended Miami University and Johns Hopkins. He began writing funny things in 1960s "underground" newspapers, became editor-in-chief of National Lampoon, then spent 20 years reporting for Rolling Stone and The Atlantic Monthly as the world's only trouble-spot humorist, going to wars, riots, rebellions, and other "Holidays in Hell" in more than 40 countries. He is a contributing editor at The Weekly Standard, H. L. Mencken fellow at the Cato Institute, a member of the editorial board ofWorld Affairs and a regular panelist on NPR's Wait... Wait... Don't Tell Me. He lives with his family in rural New England, as far away from the things he writes about as he can get.

  • O’Rourke is probably the most resilient comedy writer to come out of the early National Lampoon. He saw through the anarchists’ narcissism, and has been satirizing it for years in Rolling Stone and elsewhere. If anyone ‘changed comedy forever,’ it was O’Rourke.”  —The New York Times
  • Both TIME and The Wall Street Journal have labeled him “the funniest writer in America.”
  • He is the former editor of the National Lampoon and a writer for Car and Driver, Playboy, Esquire, Vanity Fair, The New Republic, The New York Times Book Review, Harper’s, Atlantic Monthly, and Rolling Stone.
P J O'Rourke's Throw Under the Omnibus
P. J. O'Rourke's

Best Sellers

The Baby Boom

In The Baby Boom, O’Rourke, born at the peak of the Baby Boom, turns his keen eye on himself and his 75 million accomplices in making America what it is today. With laughter as an analytical tool, he uses his own very average, if sometimes uproarious experiences as a key to his exceptional age cohort. He writes about the way the postwar generation somehow came of age by never quite growing up and created a better society by turning society upside down.

Holidays in Heck

Holidays in Heck begins after the Iraq War, when P.J. retired from being a war correspondent because he was “too old to keep being scared stiff and too stiff to keep sleeping on the ground.” Instead, he embarked on supposedly more comfortable and allegedly less dangerous travels—often with family in tow—which mostly left him wishing he were under artillery fire again.

Don't Vote It Just Encourages the Bastards

Don’t Vote—It Just Encourages the Bastards is a brilliant, disturbing, hilarious, and ultimately sobering look at why politics and politicians are a necessary evil—but only just barely necessary. P.J. presents his Sex, Death, and Boredom Theory of Politics, which breaks the social contract down to power, freedom, and responsibility by using the party game “Kill, [email protected]#%, Marry,” more typically found at late-night giggle sessions at all-girls boarding schools.