Book Review: The Speechwriter by Barton Swaim

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The Speechwriter

-A Brief Education in Politics

by Barton Swaim

Time Investment: 200 pages. Factor 2-3 hours reading time.

Reader Notes:

Reader: Tabitha Farrar, CMO at MobileDay

The Speechwriter provides us with a peek inside the office of the modern politician. In doing so, it brings to light not only the processes behind the more administrative aspects of the office, but also the narcissistic tendencies of the people who place themselves in positions control. More importantly, The Speechwriter poses the question: why do we celebrate people who will do anything to be in power?

General Readability Rating: 5/5

This is a memoir rather than a workplace self-help book. For that reason, it reads like an enlightening tale, rather than a point-to-point of tips and tricks. Delightfully, however, you can read this as a yarn, and still pick up a number of insights on communication, the language of politics, and the behavior of politicians/people in positions of authority and power. Swaim is a talented and meticulously correct writer, which is one of the things that makes his relationship with the governor for whom he wrote so interesting.

Would you recommend this book to a friend?

Yes. Some very real questions underlie this enjoyable and humorous read. If you are not interested in politics — and you should be in light of what is happening out there right now — you still know someone like the governor that Swain worked for.

Favorite Line:

“Men like him think of achievement and victory, not of failure, and when they fail disastrously their first thought is not to repair the damage but to gauge how far it is to the next victory.”

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