Banish awkward silences, boring weather talk, or (worst of all) the embarrassing conversation gaff with this pithy, hilarious guide to effortless party banter.We?ve all been there. You?re at a party, surrounded by the most important people in your life. You?re cool. You?re casual. You?re witty and urbane. Until suddenly, quite unexpectedly, things take a turn for the worse when a subject thought to be common knowledge is lobbed your way. A hush falls over the room and every head seems to swivel expectantly in your direction. [ART: SET THESE OFF IN A DIFFERENT COLOR?]?Rasputin. Sure, Rasputin. The Russian guy, right? Who . . . who . . . whooooo was Russian.??Che Guevara? You mean the dancer???Oh my God! Mao Tse-tung? They have the best chicken with cashews!?The Concise Guide to Sounding Smart at Parties was written with just this moment in mind. In fourteen pain-free, laughter-filled chapters, authors David Matalon and Chris Woolsey brush away years of cobwebs on subjects as wide-ranging as the typical round of Jeopardy: war, science, politics, philosophy, the arts, business, literature, music, religion, and more. Armed with The Concise Guide to Sounding Smart at Parties, you?ll know that Chicago Seven wasn?t a boy band, Martin Luther never fought for civil rights, and Franz Kafka isn?t German for ?I have a bad cold.? You?ll be the smart one who?s the center of conversation?and nothing beats that feeling.