Jeremy's Weblog

I recently graduated from Harvard Law School. This is my weblog. It tries to be funny. E-mail me if you like it. For an index of what's lurking in the archives, sorted by category, click here.

Monday, February 23, 2004

Book Recommendation: "Clinton and Me"

I'm very hard to please. It surprises me when I want to effusively praise something. I intended to read for a half hour last night and then get to sleep early for my 8:30 class this morning. I could not put the book down. I devoured it. My light went off at two in the morning. This book is terrific.

Briefly, "Clinton and Me" is the story of Mark Katz, who, just out of college, volunteered for the Dukakis for President campaign in '88, and impressed his way into a role on the campaign's rapid-response team, coming up with sound bites and one-liners. People remembered his work, and four years later, after President Clinton's election, he found himself writing Madeleine Albright's speech for the Gridiron Club, an annual event where high-powered politicos say funny things. The President loved it. For the next eight years, Mark Katz was Clinton's hired-gun for the annual humor circuit, writing jokes for the President of the United States. Fantastic job, of course. And the book is full of funny one-liners and stories, excerpts from what made it into the speeches, and what didn't. And I laughed. But that's not what makes the book terrific. What makes the book terrific is that the reader feels what it's like to step into Mark Katz's shoes, and see this world of power and privilege though the eyes of someone who feels humbled and privileged to be there. He gives these people he comes into contact with depth and dimension and makes them real. Al Gore is a human being in this book, not a caricature. President Clinton is a human being. Books don't normally do this. He makes you feel how he was feeling and see what he was seeing and... I couldn't put it down. And it was funny. Buy the book.