The big news of this week is a political memoir (again), this time from a former member of the Trump administration. On Tuesday, Former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s memoir, The Briefing, was released to reviews that were… let’s just say not raves.
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Jonathan Karl’s review in the Wall Street Journal is particularly excellent (although to read it you need to click through to this Tweet, which should let you then click to read the review despite the WSJ paywall). My favorite quote from the book that Karl includes is this one: “(Trump’s) high-wire act is one that few could ever follow… he is a unicorn, riding a unicorn over a rainbow.” OMG.
Donald Trump’s ﬁrst White House spokesman compares the president to a rock star, the Energizer Bunny and a unicorn. Jonathan Karl reviews ‘The Briefing’ by Sean Spicer. https://t.co/CFD7Q9sKFk pic.twitter.com/R6lyP9N7M4
— The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) July 24, 2018
At NPR, Annalisa Quinn notes that Spicer’s approach to writing about politics includes a moral double standard – criticizing the Clintons while also framing “former congressman Mark Foley as ‘smart and ambitious…and fun to be around’ — without mentioning that he solicited nude photos and sex from teenage boys employed as congressional pages.” Whoops.
Washington Post media critic Erik Wemple points out a section in which Spicer tries to argue that Trump’s use derogatory nicknames isn’t a flaw or behavior that diminishes the presidency. Instead, Spicer suggests that Trump “was a master of branding and psyched out his opponents by defining them with nicknames that stuck.” Right.
Overall, this one seems like a book that’ll be buzzy for a week while everyone reads the commentary about it, and then it’ll just fade away… and that’s ok with me.
With that out of the way, on to some actual good news:
A 2016 performance of Hamilton may be coming to the big screen! “unnamed Hollywood studios are bidding for the rights to a filmed performance of Hamilton from 2016 – when Miranda still headed the cast in the title role.”
A first-person account of the March for Our Lives movement will be published in October. Glimmer of Hope “chronicles in first person essays the events of February 14th and the creation of the March for our Lives from the founders of the movement.” I’m a sucker for oral histories, so I’m looking forward to this one.
Senator Kamala Harris will be releasing a book in January 2019, The Truths We Hold: An American Journey. I am not generally a fan of the memoir/current event books that politicians put out while they’re still in office/running for office, but Harris does have an interesting personal story.
Director Ridley Scott and documentary filmmaker Asif Kapadia will be adapting Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari. Sapiens is an ambitious book, about the journey of humans “from prehistoric creatures to the present.” The format for the adaptation is unclear, but I think there are a lot of cool things you could do with it.