• Joe Pace

Favorite Non-Fiction Books, #37: The Presidents Speak


Chapter 45 is in crayon

There was an episode of Seinfeld in which Jerry’s dentist converted to Judaism and began telling Jewish jokes. This irritated Jerry, and when asked if he was offended as a Jew, he replied “no, I’m offended as a comedian!”


We’ve had many chief executives in the history of America. Statesmen or scoundrels, heroic or hapless, almost all had at least a passing acquaintance with the English language. Reading through this book is a tour of the rhetorical majesty we’ve often been blessed with. Whenever I listen to the current inhabitant of the White House, I realize that the casualties of this misadministration aren’t just truth, freedom, or justice. Our very language suffers in the modest hands of this grifter.


I oppose the policies of Donald Trump as an American. But I’m offended as a giver of speeches and lover of English.

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