Complete Idiot's Guides

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The Complete Idiot's Guides is an Alpha Books product line of how-to and other reference books that each seek to provide a basic understanding of a complex and popular topic. The term "idiot" is used as hyperbole in claiming ensured comprehension. The approach relies on explaining a topic via very basic terminology. Definitions of words, profiles of people, and a synopsis of events for context are also provided in many cases.

The line parallels the For Dummies books.

Origins [edit]

The guide that brought the series to popularity was The Complete Idiot's Guide to DOS ("Idiot's DOS" for short, because the original cover made "Idiot's" and "DOS" huge in comparison to the rest of the title) much as DOS For Dummies popularized the Dummies series.

The titles and approach of the series both echo How to Keep Your Volkswagen Alive, A Guide for the Compleat Idiot, a notable 1969 guide by John Muir that used humor to make car repair less intimidating, and was popular in the American heyday of the Volkswagen.

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