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Saturday, June 28, 2014

No. 000038 Another History Lesson for the Post: Mark Twain and the Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant

“The greatest influence over content was necessity--they had holes to fill on every page and jammed in any vaguely newsworthy string of words, provided it didn't include expletives, which they were apparently saving for their own use around the office.”


― Tom Rachman, The Imperfectionists

The other day Hillary Clinton changed her hair style so naturally a news cycle or two later an editorial writer at the Post has to comment.

The best consistent writing in America about Ms. Clinton has been Bill McClellan's entire body of work. But the inches have to be filled, I guess.

No one can object to the fair reporting of what Ms. Clinton has said now or on her previous book tours. After all, Ms. Clinton knows more history than the editorial writer so she knows that the purpose of public service is to put one in a position that one's memoir will pay off handsomely. 

That is pay for performance and is as American as apple pie.

Can you imagine what a President could command if he or she could create jobs or prosperity?

My objection to the column is that it slanders, through ignorance, our second greatest Missourian, Mark Twain.

And, it slanders Missouri for the inventor and perfector of the President memoir both hail from the ShowMe state.

The aged writer, badly in need of a fact checker, penned these sentences asserting the memoir was a Truman invention of necessity.

But why get by when you can cash in? Ex-presidents since Truman have received big money for their memoirs, all of which have been turgid. More recent presidents have commanded millions on the speaking circuit.


So the sum and truth of the story is very different.

  • If invented by Mark Twain, making money off being President is as American as apple pie.
  • President Truman knew his history for he read every book in that library as a youth and knew Grant's memoir and, when needed, wrote his own.
What was missed was hard investigative journalism into whether grifter Dick Cheney pushed for the Iraq War so that Halliburton would Profit.

Ever the grifter, Cheney now has a 501(c)(4), the Alliance for a Strong America, which will accept your donation today to finance his first class vacation flights tomorrow.

Fair and balanced!!!