The Speechwriter

The Speechwriter

A Brief Education in Politics

Book - 2015
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From 2007 to 2010 Swaim worked for Mark Sanford, South Carolina's governor, as a communications officer and speechwriter. 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. 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.
Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster, 2015
Edition: First Simon & Schuster hardcover edition
ISBN: 9781476769943
Characteristics: [xi], 204 pages ; 22 cm


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Jul 19, 2016

I couldn't get into it. Seems like a puff piece. Perhaps I just don't appreciate the humor.

subwaysam Feb 24, 2016

It is hard to believe that the subject is still in office.

Oct 14, 2015

A wonderful book. I laughed the whole way through.

Chapel_Hill_KatieJ Sep 09, 2015

Mark Sanford is never named outright in this book, but his strange presence looms over the entire story. Barton Swaim worked as Mark Sanford's speechwriter for 3 years, and he discusses the governor's oddities in great detail. A lot of this book shows what the average day for a speechwriter for entails; writing op-eds, composing thank you notes, giving the governor 3 points to mention in a speech. The book rushes over the more scandalous parts of Mark Sanford's term. It seems like a lot more could have been said about the staff's reactions to what was going on around them. The book ends with a discourse about the nature of democracy and trustworthiness of politicians. It seems disingenuous of Swaim to pretend he was just an observer in the political world when he played a central role in the Sanford administration.

rere3 Aug 27, 2015

Pretty much what the reviews say - well written and entertaining.


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