“Johnson assembles a truly enlightening and readable history of humor.” (Washington Post)
“A rich set of essays . . . . Johnson casts a wide net and he hauls in good material . . . . Fine anecdotes, examples, and insights . . . . Handsomely written.” (The Economist)
“Johnson masterfully weaves a narrative line among the figures, many of whom don’t spring to mind as comic, with a deep appreciation for their wit in writing, filmmaking, painting, and living.” (Booklist (starred review))
“It is Johnson’s gift that he can make his subjects human and fallible enough that we would…recognize them instantly, while also illuminating what made them heroes.” —Washington Post Book World on Heroes
“Johnson is a clear, intelligent, forceful writer, and nothing if not thorough.” —Wall Street Journal
Paul Johnson, the acclaimed author of Creators, Heroes, and the New York Times bestseller Intellectuals, returns with a captivating collection of biographical portraits of the Western world’s greatest wits and humorists. With chapters dedicated to history’s sharpest tongues and most piercing pens, including Benjamin Franklin, Toulouse-Lautrec, G.K. Chesterton, Damon Runyan, W.C. Fields, the Marx Brothers, and many more, Johnson’s Humorists is an exciting compendium of our most enduring comical and satirical innovators.