After I posted a quote from Barack Obama’s book, The Audacity of Hope, my brother asked me if I thought he wrote it himself, or if he had “guidance”. I told him,
“I don’t know, I’ve been thinking about that a lot these last couple days. The book is good so far. The writing is clean, tight, engaging. Very literary. I believe with his education and pastimes (he seems to put a lot of stock in broad reading, anyway) he could write this. I only wonder if time would actually permit him to do so, or if something so calculated as a book run-up to a national election would fly as a personal project. If he doesn’t have a ghost-writer, he’s at least got a darn good editor.
“Who knows, though. A lot of incredibly busy people still produce great work. Read, for instance, Pope Benedict’s ‘Jesus of Nazareth'”
I’m reading Decision Points now. It is, if you aren’t familiar, President Bush’s 2010 memoirs. Nothing in Decision Points suggests the presence of a ghost writer, or even much of an editor. The tone and rhetoric aside (which I may write about once I’ve finished), Pres Bush has an odd tendency to list as many names as possible. Here’s one of the most jarring examples so far:
I wasn’t sure what to expect from Tony [Blair]. I knew he was a left-of-center Labour Party prime minister and a close friend of Bill Clinton’s. I quickly found he was candid, friendly, and engaging. There was no stuffiness about Tony and Cherie. After dinner, we decided to watch a movie. When they agreed on Meet the Parents, a comedy starring Robert Deniro and Ben Stiller, Laura and I knew the Bushes and the Blairs would get along.
Congrats to Deniro and Stiller on the shout-out.