It seems like every time I walk into a bookstore or library, there is a new flavor-of-the-month political book or memoir on display (like David Plouffe’s The Audacity to Win or Sarah From Alaska, both out today). Although I enjoyed Dreams From My Father (and this behind-the-book blog post about how it got published), I’ll admit that books by or about politicians are usually not my thing.
Since today is Election Day, however, I thought I’d post about a couple political books from our archives that have caught my interest. Please add your own suggestions in the comments. (Anyone pre-ordered Going Rogue. . . or Going Rouge?)
Clinton and Me by Mark Katz
“Humor in political discourse is a more potent weapon than spite. Mark Katz, who held the unusual position of presidential joke writer in the Clinton administration, proves this point decisively and with great fun in Clinton and Me: A Real Life Political Comedy. Katz begins his story in early 1995, when he tried to convince an unamused President Clinton to use an egg timer as the centerpiece of his speech before a group of Washington insiders known as the Alfalfa Club. The egg timer would serve as a comic device, allowing the president to make fun of himself for delivering an overly long State of the Union address. Clinton rejected the idea and went on to give a speech filled with spiteful, personal invectives; the evening was judged a disaster for the president.”
The Conviction of Richard Nixon by James Reston Jr.
“Three years after his resignation, Nixon negotiated a large fee to do a series of interviews with British TV personality David Frost. In preparing for the encounter, Frost hired a team of researchers to supply him questions and background facts. One of that team was James Reston Jr. He chronicles the event in The Conviction of Richard Nixon.”