Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Presidents as authors …

… ‘Author in Chief’ Review: The Oval Office Book Club - WSJ. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

The fortitude and unexpected writerliness involved in the creation of Grant’s book make for an impressive but familiar story. It is decades further on—after dust jackets, department-store bookselling, catalog shopping and Carnegie libraries have further transformed the publishing landscape—that Mr. Fehrman finds the unlikely, taciturn standout of “Author in Chief.” In 1920, Massachusetts Gov. Calvin Coolidge, newly famous for suppressing a labor revolt by the Boston police, secured the Republican vice-presidential nomination in large part by allowing some wealthy backers in business and advertising to promote a collection of his levelheaded, self-written (in pencil) speeches. The sampler concluded with his no-nonsense telegram to the police union: “There is no right to strike against the public safety by anybody, anywhere, any time.”

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