Presidential Memoirs, College Essays, Tony Blair Memoir: Memoir in the News

Memoir is in the news!

Do you know how many copies of Barack Obama’s memoirs have sold? Which was more popular, Jimmy Carter’s memoir or Bill Clinton’s? Check out the answers to these and other presidential memoir questions here.

An occasional writer for The New York Times, Caren Osten Gerszberg, describes the college essay, something her daughter is striving to perfect as a high-school junior, as a form of memoir writing.

Finally, Tony Blair has dominated British press stories by revealing in his newly-published memoir that he believes it was right to invade Iraq and that he found Gordon Brown, his successor, maddening.

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Shirley Showalter


  1. thebookflirt on September 9, 2010 at 6:02 pm

    After reading an autobiography like Clinton’s (which I loved) doesn’t make it easy to grab another presidental bio. But I did start on Obama’s, which surprised me at the start. I think I stopped reading because it seemed to be competing with Clinton’s in a way of trying to bring out his natural voice to give the bio life, which a lot of bios like these inherently do not have, but started sounding a little too dressed down, or up.

    Now, I think I want to read Regan’s and Carter’s and perhaps I’ll scoop up one of Nixon’s too.

  2. shirleyhs on September 11, 2010 at 3:22 pm

    Hi, bookflirt! Love your blog. Thanks for this visit, and let’s keep in touch. We have many mutual interests.


  3. Richard Gilbert on September 16, 2010 at 4:59 pm

    I am finally reading Obama’s first book, his memoir Dreams From My Father, and it’s fantastic. The guy can write beautifully. Not sure about his later books, but he apparently wrote this one and it’s interesting in its own right, and of course has taken on historical interest.

    • shirleyhs on September 16, 2010 at 9:59 pm

      I loved DREAMS and wrote about it here. Unfortunately, the material on p. 46 does not appear to have completely transferred over to WordPress (I migrated all content from a hacked website). But I think you will be able to tell that I agree with you. His ability to write and speak still amazes me.

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