Memoirs are Cool. Fast reads/ listens. Are these latest examples any GOOD? Sure they are. Let’s assess, objectively..
- BARACK OBAMA/ PROMISED LAND: You get a solid, substantial explanation of his economics. Seriously. Indeed, it’s shameful quite how failed this guy was by his own spin team in simply getting across quite how balanced his approach was. No radical knee jerk marxist nationalisation; contrary to what his critics thought he wanted. No vindictive punishing of Wall Street but no indulging it either. Just a rescue package for all which saved an entire monetary system. Worth reading for that alone. Lovely anecdotes about his wife and family, too. Is he perfect? No. Neither is the book. Barack is not the messiah! But then, nor does he claim to be. He admits to occasional petulance. He can be a tad laboured, verging on sanctimonious and patronising. And has a near obsession with shaving. But this is still an historic work and will be read in hundreds, even thousands of years, as a philosophical text (assuming we do all survive, of course..and Barack gives us hope for that, here). Part 2 is titled ‘The New Testament’. Can’t wait! Good work, POTUS!
- PIERS MORGAN / WAKE UP: It’s a diary. A memoir. Bit rushed. Varies in tone. But it is full of undeniably sensible, logical and almost irrefutable points about the ridiculous nature of today’s media subculture. Free speech is eating itself and Piers points it out. The style is punchy, fast moving, common sensical. There are anecdotes and stories within stories. A fast and satisfying read and balanced in its treatment of everything from Harry/Megz to the Donald Trump. The Captain Moore stuff is lovely, needless to say. Morgan is not to everyone’s tastes. He can be a bit of a gossipy name dropper but this is also a journalist of substance and a patriot who loves his country and speaks through, rather than for, both the elite and the common opinion. Plus, he enjoyed Licence to Kill (his first film review). Can’t be all bad, so!
Connection? They love movies in both cases and the texts move a bit like film edits from scene to scene. Self contained yet leading to sequels. A bit self involved, sure. But that’s memoirs for you. Both men also seem to have helped rather than hindered the rise of Trump, so are in no position to bemoan the Corona era legacy. Piers was all but his best mate. Barack even spent time, with speech writers, addressing /redressing the birth certificate thingie. You both made the Donald. But relax, chill, move along..there will soon be new stories to confront and boo hiss panto baddies to match.
I recommend both books, highly, without hesitation. Essential reading for anyone trying to make sense of the last decade. These are uncertain times. Barack and Piers lend a little clarity, credibility, fun, education and perspective. We all need that.