Books: Last Refuge Of Scoundrels

By Paul Lussier

The birth of the nation is not an altogether blessed event in this canonically loose novel about the Revolutionary War. Patriotism masks hypocrisy and greed. The Founding Fathers cloak private agendas and petty motives in lofty ideals. After decades of antihero worship and historical revision, are there still readers who can be jolted or amused by caricatures of national legends behaving like lesser mortals? Yet the author seems to have had a chortling good time burlesquing the past in a style that swings between Henry Fielding and Mel Brooks.

--By R.Z. Sheppard


Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!