Schnooks, Crooks, Liars & Scoundrels: A Field Guide to Identifying Political Buffoons
New Degree Press (2022)
Reviewed by: Lily Andrews for Reader Views
5 Stars* An unflinching and relevant oeuvre that calls for sanity in the political arena
In “Schnooks, Crooks, Liars & Scoundrels” by New York Election Law specialist Gene Berardelli, readers are treated to a rare exposition of trenchant criticisms and indomitable harsh realities regarding the world’s evolving political scenery where millions of individuals have felt the painful prick of deceit and manipulation by leaders who act foolish and witless, in an aim to win the electorate over.
Berardelli begins by defining the term “buffoon,” a term that forms the basis of his work. He feels that since the term had been reserved for people whose ridiculous behavior is a source of amusement to others, politicians who have set themselves to act as such rightfully deserve to be called by it. The candid musings spin with practical analysis of popular and influential leaders, an aim set to help readers identify and rate buffoonery in an individual, a trait that research has revealed exists in everyone but to a higher degree in politicians.
Countless stunts and antics by many world leaders who the author feels are no different from clowns, have rammed the once civilized, respected, and serious political vista, and replaced it with tawdriness, ugly insinuations, incongruousness, and scorn. He asserts in his own words that, “one is bound to encounter characters who say or do things so hilariously buffoonish that the only rational response is a shake of the head or a laugh proportional to the buffoonish magnitude of the action.” The text also emphasizes that political awareness and remaining vigilant are crucial concepts that need to be employed by an electorate that desperately needs to keep such leaders from occupying any elective office.
Berardelli is a strong debater who utilizes critical thinking and wit to make this a compelling read. He stands out as one of the most resolute voices of our time who will not flinch at telling the truth, all to enlighten and liberate the masses from political hypocrisy and heinous leadership. The injection of levity throughout the read warms up the hearts of readers in a brilliant way while consequently reducing the spike of adrenaline and emotion that kicks in with every new chapter.
Years of warm and hearty discussions with friends, capped by a terrific foreword and vigorous research as illustrated by the humongous references and endnotes, make this book a rich resource for citizens and political activists alike, who stand to promote effective leadership for better governance. There are some books one reads for pleasure, and some by necessity. Carved in detail and opulence, this intense five-star text is one of the latter. Readers will savor Berardelli’s sharp reflections.