- Taschenbuch: 381 Seiten
- Verlag: Michigan State Univ Pr (30. Dezember 2013)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 1611861136
- ISBN-13: 978-1611861136
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 15,2 x 2,8 x 22,9 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: Schreiben Sie die erste Bewertung
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 2.285.907 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
Confessions of a Presidential Speechwriter (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 30. Dezember 2013
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Smith shares with readers an exceptionally candid, instructive, and fascinating memoir about experiences associated with his being a presidential speechwriter. . . . His thoughts are joyful, always insightful, at times quite humbling, and certainly courageous. The narrative he weaves makes for an awesome read. Bravo!
Michael J. Hyde, University Distinguished Professor of Communication Ethics, Wake Forest University"
In addition to augmenting the corpus of works on professional speechwriting, this fast-paced book is simultaneously a work of history, rhetorical criticism, autobiography, and political refl ection. The cast of characters includes Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Gerald Ford, George H. W. Bush, Lee Iacocca, Robert Packwood, even Frank Sinatra. The settings range from corporate boardrooms to the corridors of power to the sinuous world of academic politics. There is much here to interest a broad spectrum of readers.
Stephen E. Lucas, Evjue-Bascom Professor in the Humanities, University of WisconsinMadison"
Like the proverbial cat, Craig Smith has had at least nine livesuniversity professor, administrator, presidential speechwriter, newsroom writer, campaign manager, legislative aide, state board member, corporate speechwriter, and editorial columnist. And, by the way, he did all this while being a closeted gay man in the Republican Party. If that isn t plot enough, then the meetings with Robert Kennedy, Richard Nixon, George H. W. Bush, Lee Iacocca, Walter Cronkite, and a cast of thousands ought to be. Smith provides a fascinating look behind the scenes of Republican Party power and intrigue. Having known Craig R. Smith for over 30 years, I can truthfully say that I learned more from this book than any of his previous 16 books. Smith s autobiography provides a fascinating look at how the personal and professional intersect in strange and powerful ways.
Martin J. Medhurst, Distinguished Professor of Rhetoric and Communication, Baylor University"
Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende
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This book is a good insight into the life and thoughts of the writer, Dr. Craig Smith, who has many talents and passions for life and politics. Dr. Smith, a professor of rhetoric and debate, gives great insights into the politicians of the late 20th and early 21 century, focusing on Republicans he served as speech-writer and advisor. I found it especially interesting when he talked about Senator Bob Packwood, as Dr. Craig worked closely with the senator for decades up through the time of the senator's resignation from the senate. He also shares other thoughts about politicians such as Ford, Dole, Kennedys JFK, RFK, and TEK, Nixon, McCain, and even Obama. And of course he shares his thoughts about being deeply closeted in a deeply anti-gay Republican party.
However, there were weak points in the book with regards to tone, voice, and point-of-view. I will confess I do not read many autobiographies, so perhaps it is how these kinds of books are written, but the style of writing changes constantly throughout the book. Sometimes it is a lecture, sometimes it is an overview of what happened, sometimes it is personal insights.
When I was finished, I had one thought: the book does not feel "formed." It feels like a very good first draft that needs a book editor to put right. That was the most frustrating aspect to the book—I felt as if it wasn't really finished before it got printed. It was even more frustrating because the author is known for his books on rhetoric, debate, and communication.
Reviewed by George Diestel, Ph.D.*
The fourth century ended with Augustine's Confessiones, the first memoir in Western literature. It has survived throughout the centuries because its profundity is nested within the context of a personal narrative and acclamations of faith, values and virtues. Dr. Craig R. Smith's Confessions of a Presidential Speechwriter is similar, a rare contribution to recent American history because the author has been a major contributor to our history and one of the most acknowledged and distinguished communication leaders of our times--the story is so much more than what goes on in the Oval Office, as important as that may be.
In this book the reader will relive and gain first hand insights into the Presidencies of Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Clinton and George Herbert Walker Bush, in tasteful and direct narrative by one who knows what he is talking about because he was there in central roles which have impacted all of our lives.
The story begins with his meeting with Robert Kennedy in the Waldorf a few months before Dr. Smith would deliver a copy of his Master's thesis to Richard Nixon in his Broad Street Law office. That night he did not know his life would revolve around the Oval Office and the halls of Congress; he concluded that night that Kennedy's opportunism matched that of Nixon's but Kennedy "seemed alive". "Perhaps it was because Kennedy knew tragedy and Nixon only knew melodrama." "It is one thing to lose a presidential election and quite another to loose a brother who is President."
The reader can not be expected to understand the crucial function of those who guide and design the public messages of our leaders. By reading this book one discovers: what is involved, who does it, why it has to be done by wise professionals, and the amount of dedication and energy it demands.
The tradition of public rhetoric was first canonized in Rome by the first century BCE (Marcus Tullius) Cicero (d.43). The Ciceronian standard for public leaders' messages was four virtues: prudence, temperance, justice, and courage. Not only did Craig R. Smith's speeches for President Ford and President George Herbert Walker Bush manifest these virtues, but this book manifests them.
One so close and intimate with history must tap dance between honest disclosure and decorum, between confidences and competencies, between truth and tact. There is nothing in the Confessions of a Presidential Speechwriter which is banal, cheap, bitter, selfish, or supercilious. This is a book by a patriot who now shares in extensive detail, verbatim dialogue, assiduous dedication, and deep reflection the inside of public service. It counters much of the skepticism, ridicule, and acid in the public opinion of our times.
The author's unique talents were not only in the service of the Oval Office and Congess, but in service to Lee Iacocca, CEO of Chrysler Corporation, who Chaired the restoration project of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island in 1982. Smith also served as campaign manager for Senator Bob Packwood's 1980 re-election campaign, as Director of the Senate Services for the Republican caucus of the US Senate along with years of service with CBS, especially during Presidential conventions, election nights, and Inaugurals. Yes, Walter Cronkite read his words on the air.
As if this was not remarkable enough, Dr. Craig R. Smith finished his Ph.D. in one of the most prestigious programs in the world (Penn. State), and taught at San Diego State University, The University of Alabama, Birmingham; The University of Virginia, and California State University, Long Beach, where he has lead The Center for First Amendment Studies and Chaired four departments; he served as a member of the Board of Trustees of the 23 California State Universities. The author of 18 books and 60 scholarly article, he is the most respected scholar of Daniel Webster in the world and the recipient of highest teaching awards in Academe.
The reader comes to love and admire the author's knowledge of Americana, his personal sublimations (by staying in the closet) and spiritual transitions; his commitment to maintaining decent and productive political parties, and his constant caring and mentoring of his colleagues, friends, family, and always, his university students. Three developmental life experiences can account for the author's prestige as a public communicator: the hours his dad spent every night discussing, arguing, listening, and interacting with his son, the extensive travel necessitated by his dad's relocations in the U.S. Navy, and the tough mentoring of his high school debate coach.
Every aspect of this book testifies to the importance of public communication and the need for excellence in the theory and practice of it. It's an incredible story written from a lucid memory in delightful style--its honest, interesting, factual, fast, and the best autobiography one could read about America and about a distinguished American. Its a story told with: prudence, justice, courage, and temperance.
The book ends with Dr. Craig R. Smith's six point template for the Republican Party and a prayer that, "You can expand the sense of spirit in the world, diminish the pain of living in a troubled environment, and thereby make this world a better place, one that nurtures and inspires."
The reader will encounter a replete registry of famous names in this memoir: Richard, Robert, Walter, Dan, Leslie, Karl, Gerald, George H. W., Bob, Jimmy, Teddy, Condoleezza, Clarence, et al. The laborious processes involved in the drama of the First Amendment's provisions and our national elections will give the reader reason to celebrate in pride. The first century rhetorician Quintilian (d.95 AD) said public communication is all about "The Good Man (Person) Speaking Well" or ethos. Producing such citizens is costly, time consuming, and requires unquestioning support for all educational institutions. The result is a society of dedicated citizens committed to the elaborate processes of ethos. When the reader finishes this book, ancient and lasting truths about public communication will consume their contemplations together with gratitude to Craig R. Smith for writing this magnus opus.
Confessions of a Presidential Speechwriter "nurtures and inspires".
George Diestel, Ph.D. is Professor Emeritus of Communication and Humanities at California State University, Fresno.
I'm glad it was a long flight so I could keep reading!