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Memoir politics: What can we learn from the battle of the books?

Journalist Jen Gerson, consultant Ian Capstick, and publishing insider Jennifer Lambert on the power of political books.
Are memoirs antidotes to sound bite culture or "very, very long cover letters"?

Politicians used to wait until the end of their careers to pen their tell-all books — but these days the campaign trail is paved in memoirs. The stakes are different for mid-career officials, who hope to shape their image and drum up support for their next run.

For insight on the process and politics of memoir-writing, guest host Tom Power checks in with three panelists:

  • Political journalist Jen Gerson, who says memoirs should be seen as "very, very long cover letters". 
  • Communications consultant Ian Capstick, who comments on the carbon copy style of most books 
  • ​Publishing insider Jennifer Lambert, who counters that memoirs are the anti-sound bite, giving politicians a chance to say something in context.


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