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A Look "Behind the Curtain",
This review is from: What I Saw at the Revolution: A Political Life in the Reagan Era (Hardcover)
"Specificity is the soul of credibility," Noonan tells us and goes on to earn her credibility through the detailed descriptions presented in this masterful slice of American history. The quote actually refers to the editing of a canned stump speech edited slighted for various locations so that local politicians and locations distinguish one place from another on the tour.
Noonan allows readers to capture the flavor of the internal fighting among the powers that be in a presidential administration. Nearly everyone can identify with the "experts" being totally wrong in their advice. She discusses several incidences where she was second-guessed by people trying to "help her" improve her speeches and shows how the ones that were unedited were the best received. Virtually anyone in communication can identify with that sort of experience at some level.
There's an element of mystery included. She talks about Reagan giving her a joke, mentioning that someday she could use it when she did other things. When he hung up the phone she says, "he knows something I don't know. He knows I'm going to write about these days." She did and the result tells a lot about human nature, politics, and dysfunctional systems. In spite of the dysfunctions, worthwhile accomplishments were made.