Book Review: Wisdom from the Oval Office: Words from George Washington to the Present
Good news. There’s FINALLY a book of quote by American Presidents that isn’t the usual, extremely fat, ponderous and boiler-plate collection of quotes that seem mostly culled from old history books. There is FINALLY a complete but reasonable-length, unpadded book that is a must-own for students at all levels, journalists, political scientists, political junkies — anyone who not only is looking for a book of quotes from Presidents that has the often used ones, but some new ones and some witty and informal ones. What more can I say then I now keep it on my computer next to my computer and travel with it and that I’ve used it three times already in some of the columns and special online articles I write?
Kudos to historical researcher Pierce Word, who reportedly spent two-and-a-half years to cull this truly enlightening — and at times highly entertaining — collection of-quotes from 235 years of American history and 44 Presidents. His sources included well-known speeches, interviews, articles, personal letters, diaries and informal conversations. Want a serious quote or thought? It’s there. Want a really lively quote? You’ll find it. The biggest compliment about this book is that unlike many books of Presidential or political quotes you can TRULY keep this on your nightstand and read it before you go to bed and it’ll be f-u-n to read.
There are too many quotes to site here and I won’t try, but I used this one in a Cagle Cartoons column that I wrote, from President Teddy Roosevelt: “The American people abhor a vacuum.” I love this gem from President Warren Harding: “I don’t know much about Americanism, but it’s a damn good word with which to carry an election.” I recently used this quote from Dwight Eisenhower at the end of a piece I did for The Week’s online edition: “Only Americans can hurt America.” Here’e one from Woodrow Wilson that liberals will love: “A conservative is someone who makes no changes and consults his grandmother when in doubt.” James Garfield: “The truth will set you free, but first it will make you miserable.” And many more.
To repeat: this is REQUIRED reading and owning for bloggers, journalists, students, and political speech writers. And for anyone who loves to read but wants ponderous quotes to also be peppered with some more conversational and lively ones. P.S. It’ll make a great gift to a young person for Christmas (or Chanuka).
FIVE STARS on a TMV scale of five stars.