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The modern landscape of American entertainment is filled with commentary on the state of the union. Viewers turn to The Daily Show instead of Fox or CNN, satirical films such as Wag the Dog, cartoons like The Simpsons, or controversial action dramas similar to 24 in order to learn more about current events in the United States. Popular culture is educating America more than the nightly news, aiding viewers in their quest to understand the American political system.

In Homer Simpson Goes to Washington: American Politics through Popular Culture, Joseph J. Foy and other contributing scholars offer diverse political perspectives through the framework of popular culture. From the classic film Mr. Smith Goes to Washington to the cutting-edge television program Chappelle’s Show, a wide spectrum of entertainment media is used to explain the complexities of U.S. politics and how audiences engage with them. Popular culture and politics have never been so intertwined in the American consciousness as they are today. As political knowledge becomes increasingly fragmented, Homer Simpson Goes to Washington explains how popular culture can actually help connect people to their government.

Joseph J. Foy is assistant professor of political science at the University of Wisconsin-Waukesha.

Publication Date



The University Press of Kentucky

Place of Publication

Lexington, KY






Current events, Popular culture, Popular culture and government, Government and popular culture, United States government


American Popular Culture


Updated edition; with a foreword by Stanley K. Schultz.

Homer Simpson Goes to Washington: American Politics through Popular Culture
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