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Speechwright: An Insider's Take on Political Rhetoric Hardcover – November 1, 2011

4 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1611860177 ISBN-10: 1611860172

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Gavin has written a must-read book for anyone interested in the American presidency. Both scholars and practitioners of political speechwriting will want to have this book on their shelves.

—Martin J. Medhurst, Distinguished Professor of Rhetoric and Communication, Baylor University



Imagine a high school teacher who sends a letter to Richard Nixon and ends up in the White House, writing heartfelt speeches for Ronald Reagan and almost every other Republican of note for thirty years. It actually happened, and Bill Gavin is that guy!

—Richard Reeves, author of President Reagan: The Triumph of Imagination, President Nixon: Alone in the White House, and President Kennedy: Profile of Power



Bill Gavin is hardly alone in his recollections, but only he could bring them to life with such candor and “heart.” No account of these moments or the people who lived them would be complete without such insights, which for too long have gone unrecorded.  However unlikely Gavin considers the string of events that led to his career as a “speechwright,”this book reveals his gifts and inspires others to respond to such a calling.

—Linda B. Hobgood, Speech Center Director, Department of Rhetoric and Communication Studies, University of Richmond

About the Author

William F. Gavin is a former speechwriter for President Richard Nixon and candidate Ronald Reagan and the author of the novels One Hell of a Candidate and The Ernesto “Che” Guevara School for Wayward Girls.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 172 pages
  • Publisher: Michigan State University Press (November 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1611860172
  • ISBN-13: 978-1611860177
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,526,455 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dan Schuster on December 7, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." (Santayana).

Gavin retraces his path from humble beginnings to White House speech writer and then some. We are treated to his personal insights into recent history. This is the story of someone working faithfully, someone growing in the face of surprising opportunities.
Along the way, Gavin also details his rise on the learning curve to master builder, a speech writer. He schools us on what the labels conservative and liberal mean to him.
Gavin is an idea man. Yes, a philosopher in disguise.

There is much to be learned here. I came away with the hope that the powerful voice of the silent majority will soon be heard in today's political crisis.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Annelise Anderson on October 31, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Beautifully written and fun to read, especially for those interested in the political world from Nixon through Reagan. I met Bill Gavin during the Nixon campaign and didn't realize--when he helped draft a speech on oceanography--how new he was to speech writing. Oceans of good advice and tips here--for anyone who writes or gives speeches--not only from him but from the people for whom he wrote.
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By Frank Burr on December 18, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I would recommend this book to anyone who loves politics and political speeches.

Gavin has great insights into the workings of Washington and the political personalities.

He was an English teacher who unexpectedly rose to a career in politics from humble beginnings.
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By Amazon Customer on April 21, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Gavin has a terrific insight into what makes a professional speech writer, er "speech wright." Very enjoyable read from a respected pro.
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