The Speechwriter A Brief Education in Politics An intimate and hilarious look inside the spin room of the modern politician a place where ideals are crushed English is mangled people are humiliated and the opportunity for humor is everywhere Ev

  • Title: The Speechwriter: A Brief Education in Politics
  • Author: Barton Swaim
  • ISBN: 9781476769929
  • Page: 460
  • Format: Hardcover
  • An intimate and hilarious look inside the spin room of the modern politician a place where ideals are crushed, English is mangled, people are humiliated, and the opportunity for humor is everywhere.Everyone knows this kind of politician a charismatic maverick who goes up against the system and its ways, but thinks he doesn t have to live by the rules Through his own expAn intimate and hilarious look inside the spin room of the modern politician a place where ideals are crushed, English is mangled, people are humiliated, and the opportunity for humor is everywhere.Everyone knows this kind of politician a charismatic maverick who goes up against the system and its ways, but thinks he doesn t have to live by the rules Through his own experience as the speechwriter for a controversial governor, Barton Swaim tells the story of a band of believers who attach themselves to this sort of ambitious narcissist and what happens when it all comes crashing down.The Speechwriter is a funny and candid introduction to the world of politics, where press statements are purposefully nonsensical, grammatical errors are intentional, and better copy means words Swaim paints a portrait of a man so principled he d rather sweat than use state money to pay for air conditioning, so oblivious he d wear the same stained shirt for two weeks, so egotistical he d belittle his staffers to make himself feel better, and so self absorbed he never once apologized to his staff for making his administration the laughing stock of the country On the surface, this is the story of one politician s rise and fall But in the end, it s a story about us the very real people who want to believe in our leaders and must learn to survive with broken hearts.

    • [PDF] ✓ Unlimited ✓ The Speechwriter: A Brief Education in Politics : by Barton Swaim ↠
      460 Barton Swaim
    • thumbnail Title: [PDF] ✓ Unlimited ✓ The Speechwriter: A Brief Education in Politics : by Barton Swaim ↠
      Posted by:Barton Swaim
      Published :2019-02-16T09:30:40+00:00

    One thought on “The Speechwriter: A Brief Education in Politics”

    1. The Speechwriter is about the author's short lived career as a speechwriter for then governor of South Carolina, Mark Sanford. Swaim recounts a few good anecdotes and provides some insight into the Governor's personality, inner political machinery and demise as a governor. He explains that being his speechwriter was about bowing to an unreasonable and pedantic egotist, and unlearning how to be a concise clear writer and learning instead how to write unclear and ambiguous lengthy cluttered prose. [...]

    2. This book was on the “Best Of 2015” list of Daniel Pink. Pink reported that it was the best book on politics that he’d ever read. After reading it, I began to wonder if Pink was trying to support Swaim’s career by this recommendation. Though there was some attempt at big ideas at the end of Swaim’s narrative, the whole did not rise above the level of mediocrity. I’d say most of us have come to Swaim’s conclusions by being a member of the electorate, even if we haven’t put it into [...]

    3. ARC for review. Dear Lord in Heaven, how in the world did I not know that Mark Sanford had been elected to the U.S. Congress in 2013?! I only found out JUST NOW when I looked up his entry to see during what years the events in the book took place (I remember the scandal, but couldn't remember the year and Swaim doesn't include any years on the book.)Some days I hate America.Barton Swaim worked as a speechwriter for then-Governor Mark Sanford from 2007 until Sanford left office in 2010, (he was [...]

    4. This book won't fit neatly into a category. Any time I thought I had it figured out, it changed on me. Which is good and bad, after all, the parts that I thought didn't work would inevitably end as the book morphed into something slightly different.While I can't give it a full rave, I can say that it is ridiculously interesting. I could talk about it for an hour. It's not clear that Swaim is actually much good as a speechwriter (he is constantly berated to be more folksy and accessible but from [...]

    5. Honestly, it was stressful to read a book about a guy who hated his job so much and stuck to it for so long. The book, at 204 pages, managed to drag, and I skimmed a lot of the last quarter. There was some cutesy conceit about never mentioning the name of the governor in question, but the author’s bio in the back says straight-out that he worked for Mark Sanford, so I don’t understand the obscurantism. (It’s also hard to be vague about exactly which governor was “hiking the Appalachian T [...]

    6. The Speechwriter is entertaining but ultimately disappointing because it could be so much more. The book jacket says, "is is the story of one politician's rise and fall." More specifically, it's about Mark Sanford, the South Carolina governor who famously was visiting his mistress in Argentina when all reports claimed he was hiking on the Appalachian Trail. Sanford, with his strange behaviors and even stranger press conference apologies, became the laughingstock of the nation. Barton Swaim, as t [...]

    7. This was only interesting for the boss of the author. Otherwise, this wouldn't hold a lot of attention of other people. Former South Carolina Governor and current Congressman Mark Sanford will forever be linked to hiking on the Appalachian Trail among other things. This is the story of the speechwriter who worked for the then-Governor to the end of Sanford's tenure (including his bizarre disappearance and his scramble by his staff to figure out what the heck was going on). It's a mix of both Sw [...]

    8. The Speechwriter is a witty and creative memoir of life as a speechwriter in South Carolina's Governor's office, during the last few years of Mark Sanford's administration. Refreshingly, this is not a tell all book, but at its heart, an examination of the absurd and often strange ways that language and communication are used by very fallible people, to say veiled and odd things. Barton Swaim, a South Carolina writer, does a fine job of what he set out to do, which was to try to universalize this [...]

    9. For over two decades I worked in a field that overlapped with the kind of work Barton Swaim undertook as a speechwriter for an erratic, ill-tempered, occasionally upright, defensive, hostile former governor of south carolina. More precisely, I listened to politicians' speeches, the majority of them extemporaneous, and made them sound closer to what people would normally say, and this was done for publication in a document that anyone could access for free. We had to arrive at a happy balance bet [...]

    10. While the book was interesting and at times funny, it lacks that something that would make it a great book about politics in America. To be honest, the author described many experiences that most of us have with bad bosses, it's just that these experiences happened in the office of a Southern governor brought down by scandal.

    11. Oh, lord. If you've ever worked in politics - in government, in a separately elected official's office. Read this and you won't regret it. It's humor, it's therapy, it's things you've endured and things you've been spared. Either way, just read it.

    12. Barton Swaim's The Speechwriter reads like a novel, a piece of fiction spun from the brain of a gifted storyteller with an astute sense of the American political system. That Mr. Swaim's book is not a novel but instead a memoir is its greatest strength, and is the greatest indictment of political communications that has been published in years.The current state of politics in America is troubling—heck, politics all over the world, including in our own country, is a mess—and much of that hand [...]

    13. Crafting a speech or letter for another person to deliver is never easy. There is always ego involved, both on the side of the writer and the recipient.The early pages of this book intrigued me because they documented a young man's first impressions of a new boss, and a very irrational, demanding boss at that. I was prepared to be sympathetic because I'd also served in a similar capacity (corporate, not political) and was expected to write, re-write, polish and perfect all kinds of documents. Pe [...]

    14. First, don’t buy this book, unless you want to put money into the hands of a member of the tea party who seems to have no political center, no loyalty, no goodness or respect for himself or others. Second, if your boyfriend hands it to you and wants to have a large discussion about its implications for revamping the US political system, still don’t read it. Or if you do read it, realize that your boyfriend is right and our political system is a mess, but ask yourself, isn’t that most of al [...]

    15. This book rubbed me the wrong way; it felt disingenuous. If you hate your job that much, why not leave? Why write a book about it? Clearly, the author had more emotionally at stake being Mark Sanford's speechwriter than he lets on, but he never bothers to tell us what that is, other than the need to provide for his family. (And he admits the salary was pathetic, so that's not really good enough.) Also, what's with the veiled references to "the governor" and "the stimulus package;" with history t [...]

    16. Graceful and witty account of an endlessly fascinating subject: famed Appalachian-Trail hiker and former governor Mark Sanford. As absurd and illuminating as Swaim's insider tales of political office dynamics are, I actually found his reflections on prose style and political discourse even more engaging--a kind of updating and Americanizing of Orwell's indispensable insights in "Politics and the English Language." Swaim's story illustrates the continuing, essential importance of written expressi [...]

    17. I was interested in this book because I vividly remember the scandal over Mark Sanford's affair, and the reviews of the book were hilarious. It's well-paced and well-written, with a spare style to the prose but plenty of good images and narration. The anecdotes themselves are often funny, and the book is told with restrained humor. Overall, probably the best book I've ready this year.

    18. Luckily I never had the misfortune to work for a jackass like Mark Sanford during my time at the Statehouse. I couldn't care less about his personal life, but he should have been impeached for how he treated his staff; sadly not an uncommon trait in politics.

    19. Every time I try to write this review, I get worked up over Mark Sanford all over again, and that's not really fair to this book. Suffice it to say that if you want to hear more about the crazy that has happened since the events described, ask me and I'll fill you in. He was re-elected as the representative for my Congressional district, and I have opinions on that.On one hand, Barton Swaim's book is incredibly enlightening, especially to better understand Mark Sanford's character and the bizarr [...]

    20. 3.5 stars The author, Mark Sanford's former speechwriter, has all kinds of interesting stories to tell in this book. His insights into life on the governor's staff in the days leading up to that infamous hike on the Appalachian Trail definitely caught my interest. In some ways, the book is very revealing as Swaim pulls back the curtain and gives readers glimpses into what often sounds like a seriously dysfunctional governor's office. The "fly on the wall" feeling of this book, along with the aut [...]

    21. You know that saying that seeing something repeatedly will make you want to buy it? That’s what happened to me with The Speechwriter: A Brief Education in Politics by Barton Swaim. Every time I logged into Audible, there it was. I finally decided to give it a go because it looked interesting, was relatively short, and had a great narrator in the sample. It’s author was a speechwriter for former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford, which bodes well for interesting content. In case you forgo [...]

    22. I received a copy of this pre-publication from NetGalley in exchange for an review. I always thought that the job of a speechwriter was hard, but glamorous. I’ve seen “The West Wing”, and I guess I was dazzled by Rob Lowe running in at the last second with just the right word at the eleventh hour before the State of the Union address. So when I saw this book, I couldn’t help but be excited.Barton Swaim worked for the Governor of South Carolina, Mark Sanford, from 2007-2010. Given the rec [...]

    23. I mostly agree with what the New York Times review says about this book (I put the review below), but I think the NYT liked the book way more than I did. I didn't think the book was marvelous but some parts were pretty funny. I liked the part where the Governor is in trouble for flying first class but making all of the staffers fly coach, and one of the staffers sings, "Put me in coach, I'm ready to play, today". I also liked when the Governor stormed in to yell at the author about a piece, and [...]

    24. Swaim makes a number of insightful points about the place that words play in politics, for instance on pages 111-112. "Everybody complains that politics separates words from their meanings, and this [the extrapolation of an anodyne sentiment with extraneous words] is part of the reason why. Words are useful, but often their meanings are not. Sometimes what you want is feeling rather than meaning, warmth rather than content." Swaim notes that this problem is severely exacerbated by the enormous a [...]

    25. Normally I shy away from political books of any kind due to their dogmatic tendencies; the authors are all too eager to preach to the choir and dismiss opposing viewpoints with wafer-thin, just-so hand-waving (which describes my personal writing style to a T, but I digress). I took exception with The Speechwriter: A Brief Education in Politics by Barton Swaim for a chance to pull back the curtain and get a glimpse of how life and work really operate on Capital Hill. Enter your stereotypical civi [...]

    26. This humorous little memoir restores my faith in the next generation. Barton Swaim gets it. "Rhetoricians, in other words--politicians--please the masses not by actually doing wise and virtuous things with state power but by making the masses believe that that's what they are doing, or that that's what they want to do, or that that's what they would do if more power were given to them" (pp. 202-203). Swaim had to learn the hard way as communications officer and speechwriter from 2007 to 2010 for [...]

    27. Swaim returns to the states from graduate studies abroad and needs a job in order to support his wife and children. He lands a job as speech writer for Governor Mark Sanford and works in that office from 2007 - 2010. He lived through Sanford's rise and his fall due to his disappearance for 5 days in Argentina with his mistress. Swain learned a lot about politics and politicians and he tells some great stories here. One of the sad stories is the disconnect between calm demeanor of public Gov and [...]

    28. What's a man to do after zoning out on his first three year job putting labels on library books while getting a PhD in English? Writing speeches for his home state governor in South Carolina. Now he's written a book about it after the end of the Governor's term, punctuated by a scandal with a mistress while he was reportedly "hiking in the appalachians". As a speech writer, Swaim has to forget his own writing style, and stick to his client's hackneyed phrases to preserve his "voice", like: “I [...]

    29. This is just short enough to work as it is. Given what the author gives us, this review is probably sufficient: washingtonpost/news/boShorter Speechwriter: Mark Sanford is really angry all the time at his staff. He thinks he is special. The author found that Mark Sanford liked a series of terrible and useless phrases. The author also thinks he is special. As a book about language it could have been much shorter. As a book about politics, it's very oblique. The author is not overtly a member of T [...]

    30. 2-1/2 Stars. First I did find this interesting despite my later thoughts. I just didn't identify or sympathize with the author. OK run on sentences coming.I couldn't help constantly wondering why a seemingly intelligent, over educated, father of 3 (and then 4) would stay in a job that made him physically ill everyday, kept him from his wife and all those kids (although he didn't seem to care), for pay that required him work side jobs all while working for an individual he despised for nearly 4 y [...]

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *