HE WAS JUST SUPPOSED TO BE A MILDLY FUNNY TALKING HEAD ON BASIC CABLE. Instead, Jon Stewart, host of Comedy Central's The Daily Show, taught a new generation of voters how to laugh at politicians. Stewart has a new contract (through 2008), a new baby and a new book: America (The Book): A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction. He chatted with TIME's Lev Grossman.

WRITING A BOOK IS SO RETRO. SHOULDN'T YOU BE BLOGGING OR SOMETHING? I can't. It's too hip. Then I'd have to get a BlackBerry, and I'm wired in, and next thing you know, I'm at a Black-Eyed...

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