Business Politics

Politicians Who Write Books

Several former politicians have written books following their career for a number of reasons. Dealing with issues, crises, and advocacies is so ingrained in the daily life of even the average politician that most are naturally inclined to write. After retiring and/or walking away from the political scene, some have written books as a way to make money. More often than not though, former politicians also write books as an account of the history of their political careers and/or special endeavors. They want to keep a lasting remembrance of their accomplishments and the challenges that they have encountered during their terms of service, along with acknowledgements of failures that may have occurred. Examples of memoirs written by former politicians include Crusade In Europe and The White House Years by former U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower, Against the Tide: How a Compliant Congress Empowered a Reckless President by former U.S. Senator Lincoln Chafee, and The Diary of Gideon Welles: Secretary of the Navy under Lincoln and Johnson, which was posthumously published in 1911.

Aside from composing memoirs, others also wrote books about their views on certain political, environmental, or public health issues. Al Gore, former U.S. Vice President, released books that aim to spread awareness about critical environmental concerns, particularly global warming. His book, An Inconvenient Truth, which became a #1 New York Bestseller, focuses on the damaging effects of climate change. He also wrote another book, Earth in the Balance, which stresses on the dangers that everyday decisions may impinge on our water, soil, flora and fauna, and climate. Former U.S. Senator and Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle wrote Critical: What We Can Do About the Health Care Crisis, a book that discusses healthcare issues and presents solutions to advance America’s health care system.

Some former politicians write books simply because of their sheer love of writing. Jimmy Carter for example has written several books under various genres. His book, Always a Reckoning and Other Poems, is a collection of poetry. He has also written a fictional book (The Hornet’s Nest), numerous memoirs including Keeping Faith: Memories of a President, a children’s book (The Little Baby Snoogle-Fleejer), and self-help books, including Talking Peace: A Vision for the Next Generation, which is a book for young adults on working towards peace. His book, Palestine Peace Not Apartheid, which became a bestseller, calls for bringing lasting peace to Israel and Palestine.

A number of books written by former politicians sell quite well; some of the bestsellers are The New American Story by Bill Bradley, former Democratic Senator, and No Retreat, No Surrender by Tom DeLay with Stephen Mansfield.

Several politicians have also resorted to hiring ghost writers to write for them — some just cannot find the time to sit down for long hours and write while others just want to utilize the skills of those who they know can best convey their ideas to a wider audience.