Was Alexander Hamilton President? Asylum Investigates

Many Founding Fathers top-five lists have Alexander Hamilton following George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin, and John Adams in the number five spot. He is, after all, much cooler than James Madison, and only an unscrupulous alcoholic would make an argument for Samuel Adams. That said, many Americans can't tell you definitively if Hamilton was ever a U.S. president. This mystery led As...

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Why Is 'Redneck' Levi Johnston Author Nick Hornby's Songwriting Muse?

Author Nick Hornby is responsible for numerous books, stories and essays, though most people are more familiar with the movies adapted from his novels, like "High Fidelity," "About a Boy" and "Fever Pitch." He recently expanded his creative efforts to songwriting, penning tunes for a collaboration with musician Ben Folds called "Lonely Avenue." We sat down for a beer with Hornby to talk music, ...

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'Good Ideas' Author Discusses 9/11 Snafu, How to Trigger Eureka Moments

Cartoons illustrate a good idea as a lightbulb turning on in one's brain -- a moment of light and clarity that appears out of the ether. In his new book "Where Good Ideas Come From," Steven Johnson looks to dispel that simplistic concept by explaining how good ideas actually evolve out of networks rather than clandestine moments of epiphany. (In layman's terms, he's calling BS on myths involving A...

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Chip Kidd Geeks Out on Batman's Dark Side, Wonder Woman's New Outfit

Chip Kidd is a man of many talents. Best known as a graphic designer, the Pennsylvania native is also an accomplished editor and comic book historian. If that wasn't enough, Kidd is also the co-author, with Lisa Birnbach, of "True Prep: It's a Whole New Old World," a follow-up to Birnbach's popular 1980 satire "The Official Preppy Handbook." We caught up with Kidd to talk about "True Prep." Aft...

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SNL Writer Simon Rich Talks New Novel, How He Does It Live on Saturday Night

The novel "Elliot Allagash" offers a titular antagonist who might be one of the most deviant, soulless monsters ever imagined in a teen body. Fortunately, the creator of this character, Simon Rich, bears no moral resemblance to his creation. (Though physically, he does look barely older than a teen.) The affable Brooklynite and son of New York Times columnist Frank Rich has done a lot in his 26...

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'Absurdistan' Author Pens Hilarious New Book That Predicts Economic Collapse

Like all good satirists, Gary Shteyngart takes the absolute worst things about the world and makes them funny. In "Super Sad True Love Story," his follow-up to the critically acclaimed "Absurdistan," Shteyngart creates a dystopian future America -- one where the economy is shot, credit score impacts dating, books are being phased out and everyone communicates almost solely via small electronic dev...

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'Simpsons,' 'I Love You, Beth Cooper' Writer Talks New Book, Slams DeVito

Larry Doyle's debut novel "I Love You, Beth Cooper" offered up a hilariously tumultuous night in the life of Denis Cooverman, a high school geek who's valedictorian address ends with the pronouncement of his love for the head cheerleader. Doyle's new novel "Go, Mutants!" once again uses high school as a backdrop, only this time his angst-y teens are the second-generation offspring of the aliens an...

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Hitchens Warns of American-Born Jihad, Painful Brazilian Waxing

"Author," "journalist," "contrarian," "Antichrist" -- whatever you call Christopher Hitchens, he's one of the most influential public intellectuals of our time. His books, from "God Is Not Great" to "The Trial of Henry Kissinger," as well as his regular columns in Vanity Fair, have garnered much praise and derision, making Hitchens a fixture on the lecture and cable news circuits. Hitchens' lat...

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'I Was Told There'd Be Cake' Author a Chick, Doesn't Write Chick Lit

If you're the type of guy who's attracted to women sporting equal parts wit and intelligence, then Sloane Crosley is your dream girl. All of Crosley's charms are on display in "I Was Told There'd Be Cake," her NY Times–bestselling collection of personal essays. Now she's back with a new offering, "How Did You Get This Number," which once again showcases her sense of humor and unique perspect...

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Russell Brand's Tips for Getting Laid Involve Skiing, the Apocalypse

"Get Him to the Greek" star Russell Brand doesn't just play charming, libidinous rock star Aldous Snow, he actually has a bit of charm and libidin-itude himself. So when we recently caught up with Brand in Las Vegas, we asked the comedian to give Asylum readers some pointers on how to meet and hook up with a special lady (or multiple special ladies) ... Share For more "Get Him to the Gr...

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