Lexington, Virginia • March 19, 2009
The opening talk of Washington and Lee University's sixth annual Tom Wolfe Weekend Seminar will be given by political humorist and author P.J. O'Rourke on Friday, March 27, at 4 p.m. in Lee Chapel.
This year's seminar, "The Lighter Side of Pain: What's Up with Our Global Economy?" will examine the current economic crisis. O'Rourke's talk is free and open to the public.
With more than one million words of trenchant journalism under his byline and more citations in The Penguin Dictionary of Humorous Quotations than any living writer, O'Rourke has established himself as America's premier political satirist. Both Time and The Wall Street Journal have labeled O'Rourke "the funniest writer in America."
After earning his B.A. at Miami University of Ohio and his M.A. at Johns Hopkins, he worked on small newspapers in Manhattan and Baltimore. In 1972, O'Rourke went to work at National Lampoon, where he became editor-in-chief in 1978. He was responsible for the high school yearbook parody and the Dacron (Ohio) Republican-Democrat newspaper parody, among other things. In 1980, he moved to Hollywood and to begin scriptwriting. Soon afterwards he joined Rolling Stone.
Since that time and in addition to his current position as Foreign Affairs Editor for Rolling Stone, O'Rourke has written for everything from Esquire to Car and Driver. He has been cheered by sources ranging from Richard Nixon to Vogue which named him "one of the five men you'd most want to sit next to at a dinner party.".
He is the best-selling author of 12 books, including Parliament of Whores, Give War a Chance, Eat the Rich, The CEO of the Sofa and Peace Kills. Of his 2007 release, On the Wealth of Nations, Publishers Weekly writes: "A witty Cliff Notes, with plenty of challenges for the armchair economist to wrap his head around."
O'Rourke is the H. L. Mencken Research Fellow at the Cato Institute and is a regular correspondent for The Atlantic Monthly, The American Spectator and The Weekly Standard, and frequent panelist on National Public Radio's game show Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!
To attend the weekend seminar (March 27-28), please contact W&L's Office of Special Programs at 540-458-8916.