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by Sarah Palin
(Click for Amazon book review)
BOOK REVIEW by OnTheIssues.org:
This book seems pointless except maybe to a few pundits. We read it as part of the run-up to Trump's Cabinet selection, thinking that Palin might get selected – we enjoyed re-reading some famous speeches, but there's zero value added. The author simply puts into book form a half-dozen of Palin's well-known speeches – including a very long transcript of her Vice-presidential debate with Joe Biden – all of which are readily available on the Internet. The book COULD be useful to pundits as a handy reference source – but it has no table of contents; no index; no analysis; no nothin'. In fact, it doesn't even have an author – the byline is an unnamed editor at "Pacific Publishing." We were so annoyed by the lack of a table of contents that we produced one ourselves, so we could look at page numbers and see which speech it came from:
This sort of book might have been useful before the Internet – a set of "uncut" transcripts of speeches and debates so that political reporters could look up facts and direct quotations. But the author decided to be extremely persnickety about "uncut" and ensured that not one word was changed. Hence any transcribing errors are left in place – such as this excerpt from Palin's 2010 Tea Party speech, "We've gotten tired now of—of looking backward. We want to look forward. And from here, my friends, the—the future—it looks really good" (p. 90). Yes, that is the "uncut" transcript, but normal editing procedures are to remove the stumbled repeated words. This takes "uncut" to a literal level – much too literal.
Uncut transcripts can be useful for journalists – for example, we had forgotten this possible flub from the Vice Presidential debate, where Joe Biden said, "Look what we did in Bosnia. We took Serbs, Croats, and Bosniaks--I was told by everyone they had been killing each other for a thousand years, it would never work" (p. 55-6). Despite the terrible grammar, Biden meant he had boldly recommended Americn military intervention in Bosnia, against the conventional wisdom, and the result was thousands of saved lives. Pundits would focus on the term "Bosniak," which would likely be corrected to "Bosnian" by anyone other that an uncut literal transcriber. But Biden was right – "Bosniak" is an ethnic group that resides in Bosnia along with other Bosnians.
Despite that sort of occasional utility, we don't see the point of putting these speeches into book form – we could have found the "Bosniak" tidbit by reading the transcript from another source online. The author COULD have TOLD us the point of the book – or the point of the speech selections in question – or the point of publishing transcripts – but without any such explanation, this book is just pointless!
-- Jesse Gordon, jesse@OnTheIssues.org, Jan. 2017
by Sarah Palin.
Page last edited: Feb 20, 2019