Monday, 27 February 2017

Best Book on Being a Writer Since William Goldman's "Adventures in the Screentrade" - Andrew Crofts

I have just read the best book on the writing life since William Goldman’s “Adventures in the Screentrade”, which is now more than 30 years old, so this is praise indeed.

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The book in question is called “Pretend I’m Not Here” by Barbara Feinman Todd, who started as a journalist on the Washington Post and became a ghostwriter for Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward, (as in Dustin Hoffman and Robert Redford in “All the President’s Men”) and for Ben Bradlee, their editor, (played in the film by Jason Robards). 

She then went on to ghost for Hillary Clinton, while she was First Lady, and gives a riveting insight into life in the Clinton White House, and the back-stabbing world of Washington politics and journalism

In the process she sheds considerable light on how Mrs Clinton came to lose the affection and respect of the American people so dramatically.

The book perfectly captures the mechanics of what it is to be a ghostwriter to the very rich, the very powerful and the very interesting. I cannot recommend it highly enough.


Penny Dolan said...

Thanks for the recommendation, Andrew. Sometimes books like this are very good for stiffening the writer backbone and putting all in perspective - as well as deliciously interesting.

Can't recall if it's Goldman who said he always tried to stand next to male "stars" - was in the swimming pool at lunch parties? - to remind himself just how short most leading men were. And which explained for me the need for actresses to be correspondingly tiny.

julia jones said...

sounds brilliant. Thanks for the recommendation