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With a view as encyclopedic as it is malicious, Alfred Sauvy invites us to journey through centuries and cultures in search of that eternal antidote to sadness and pedantry: humor. Faithful to his own voice, the author voluntarily leaves the floor to the humorists and offers us a pivotal reference work that combines erudition with an anthology that is full of alacrity. Alfred Sauvy (1898-1990) was a professor at the Collège de France, created and directed the Institut de Conjoncture, and later the National Institute of Demographic Study. Member of the Economic and Social Council of Paris, he was a longtime representative of France at the United Nations.