Dangerous Crooked Scoundrels: Insulting the President, from Washington to Trump


Product Details

$14.95  $13.90
Oxford University Press, USA
Publish Date
5.5 X 7.3 X 0.9 inches | 0.6 pounds

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About the Author

Edwin L. Battistella teaches linguistics and writing at Southern Oregon University in Ashland, where he has served as a dean and as interim provost. His books include Bad Language: Are Some Words Better than Others? and Sorry About That: The Language of Public Apology. He writes a monthly column, Between the Lines with Edwin Battistella, for the Oxford University Press blog.


"It was a pleasure to read a book that made me laugh aloud. Edwin Battistella has done an impressive job of documenting and explaining the history of presidential ignominy. I suspect that readers will be sending him their favorite insults for the next edition." -- Donald A. Ritchie, Senate historian emeritus

"Though our Twitter-dominated era may seem uniquely venomous, this wise, witty and thoroughly entertaining history of American political insults proves otherwise. Word-lovers will delight in linguist Edwin Battistella's resurrection of once-deadly insults such as'mountebank' and 'dastardly poltroon.' More important is the compelling case Dangerous Crooked Scoundrels makes that our precious freedom of speech has always rested on the ability to openly criticize and even insult our highest elected officials." -- Charles Slack, author of Liberty's First Crisis

"Dangerous Crooked Scoundrels takes a deep dive into America's long history of attacks on the president, not only exploring the insults themselves, but placing them in the context of their times. It's an engaging, thought-provoking look at a tradition as old as the republic and as immediate as the next election." -- Rosemarie Ostler, author of Splendiferous Speech

"This authoritative handbook reveals how insults have always been a part of American politics." -- Library Journal, Starred Review