Cover image for Common nonsense
Common nonsense
Rooney, Andrew A.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : PublicAffairs, [2002]

Physical Description:
xiv, 349 pages ; 25 cm

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library PN6165 .R66 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
Clarence Library PN6165 .R66 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Eden Library PN6165 .R66 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Kenmore Library PN6165 .R66 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Anna M. Reinstein Library PN6165 .R66 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
City of Tonawanda Library PN6165 .R66 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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Best known for his patented curmudgeonly commentary carried weekly on the television news show, 60 Minutes, Rooney here brings his style to the written word. The material doesn't stray very far from the material he developed on television and in his earlier books. Annotation copyrighted by Book News, Inc., Portland, OR

Author Notes

Andy Rooney, January 19, 1919 - Andrew Rooney was born January 14, 1919 in Albany, N.Y. He attended Colgate University until he was drafted into the Army in 1941. In February 1943, he was one of six correspondents who flew with the Eighth Air Force on the first American bombing raid over Germany.

After the War, he wrote for "The Garry Moore Show" from 1959 to 1965, and for Arthur Godfrey from 1949 to 1955, both on CBS. He also wrote for CBS News public affairs broadcasts such as "The Twentieth Century," "News of America," "Adventure," "Calendar" and "The Morning Show with Will Rogers Jr." Rooney wrote the first example of what has become his specialty, the television essay, with "An Essay on Doors" in 1964. From 1962 to 1968, he collaborated with Harry Reasoner on such CBS News specials as "An Essay on Bridges" in 1965, "An Essay on Hotels" in 1966, "An Essay on Women" in 1967, "An Essay on Chairs" in 1968 and "The Strange Case of the English Language" also in 1968. "An Essay on War" in 1971 won Rooney his third Writers Guild Award. In 1968, he wrote two CBS News specials in the series "Of Black America." His script for "Black History: Lost, Stolen or Strayed" won him his first Emmy Award

In addition to his contributions to 60 Minutes, Rooney wrote, produced and narrated a series of broadcasts for CBS News on various aspects of America and American life, including "Mr. Rooney Goes to Washington," for which he won a Peabody Award, "Andy Rooney Takes Off," "Mr. Rooney Goes to Work" and "Mr. Rooney Goes to Dinner." The 2002-03 season marks Rooney's 25th season on 60 Minutes. His reports, "A Few Minutes with Andy Rooney," became a regular feature in September 1978. He won Emmy Awards for these essays in 1979, 1981 and 1982. On May 19, 2002 he presented his 800th segment on the broadcast.

Rooney, the CBS News correspondent, writer and producer, has won the Writers Guild Award for Best Script of the Year six times, more than any other writer in the history of the medium. Rooney's final regular appearance on 60 Minutes was on October 2, 2011, after 33 years on the show. It was his 1,097th commentary. He was hospitalized on October 25, 2011, after developing postoperative complications from an undisclosed surgery, and died on November 4, 2011, at the age of 92.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Oh, sure, people like to make fun of Andy Rooney, just as he pokes fun at American life and customs from his desk-front vantage point on the 60 Minutes television show. But people sure do read his books, and both My War (1995) and Sincerely, Andy Rooney (1999) have landed on the best-sellers lists. His latest book is a collection of 153 short essays about--everything! In them, he comes across just like he does on TV: grumpy and irritable but also witty and avuncular. These essays are arranged into 14 broad categories, including food and drink, politics, sports, entertainment and the arts, and travel. Rooney waxes on about sentiments easy to agree with, such as, "Tops of jars and bottles are hard to take off" and "Common courtesy has all but disappeared in many public places." However, he also focuses on aspects of American life we may not have thought of but certainly can stand to be reminded about, such as, "A well-built barn is a thing of beauty. . . . The bad news is, wooden barns, like farmers, are disappearing." And there are topics we actually want him to rail against, such as when he insists that "advertising is out of control but so is packaging." Actually, he's more a humorous than an activist-type essayist, but we need all the humor we can get in this dysfunctional world. Expect considerable demand for this sure-fire best-seller. --Brad Hooper

Publisher's Weekly Review

He's at it again. In his inimitable style, the 60 Minutes commentator and bestselling author picks apart the stuff of our lives-from the ordinary to the extraordinary-to get to the heart of the matter. Whether it be chairs that are too small for comfort, or why Americans have trouble understanding the Koran, no subject is too small or too grand for Rooney to scrutinize. The 154 essays are, he says, "a reflection of a flawed brain with a capacity for being interested in more things than it can comprehend." Hilariously funny at times, Rooney also takes a tender turn and despairs at some of the sadder aspects of American life. He laments the decline of family farms, yet marvels at the beauty of their crumbling barns: "It's sad to see something so noble as a barn die a slow and painful death." He has precise, sometimes surprising-and rarely nonsensical-insights into dieting ("If you're going to lose weight, you can't be sensible about it. You have to do something extreme"), Jimmy Stewart as war hero ("He was a bomber pilot in WWII and he did it better than he acted") and religion ("The Catholic church has never officially recognized that sexual desire cannot be suppressed by resolve). Though rambling at times, this is a funny, touching, charming work that will be welcome alongside Rooney's previous collections; his take on the annoyances and joys of humanity always hit home. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

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