Speech-Less: Tales of a White House Survivor

Matthew Latimer (Author)


New York Times Bestseller - From a former White House speechwriter comes a deliciously candid memoir about official Washington--a laugh-out-loud cri de coeur that shows what can happen to idealism in a town driven by self-interest.

"[An] entertaining book about what goes on--or doesn't--in Washington." --American Spectator

Despite being raised by reliably liberal parents, Matt Latimer is lured by the upbeat themes of the Reagan Revolution and, in the tradition of Mary Tyler Moore, sets off from the Midwest for the big city. Determined to "make it after all," Matt daydreams of eradicating do-nothing boondoggleism and leading America to new heights of greatness.

But first he has to find a job.

Like an inside-the-Beltway Dante, Matt descends into Washington, D.C., hell, and snares a series of increasingly lofty--but unsatisfying--jobs with powerful figures on Capitol Hill. When Fate offers Matt a job as chief speechwriter for Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Matt finds he actually admires the man (causing his liberal friends to shake their heads in dismay), his youthful passion is renewed. But Rummy soon becomes a piñata for the press, and the Department of Defense is revealed as alarmingly dysfunctional.

Eventually, Matt lands at the White House, his heart aflutter with the hope that, here at last, he can fulfill his dream of penning words that will become part of history--and maybe pick up some cool souvenirs. But reality intrudes once again. More like The Office than The West Wing, the nation's most storied office building is run by staffers who are in way over their heads, and almost everything the public has been told about the major players--Bush, Cheney, Rice, Rumsfeld, Rove--is wrong.

Both a rare behind-the-scenes account that boldly names the fools and scoundrels, and a poignant lament for the principled conservatism that disappeared during the Bush presidency, Speech-less will forever change the public's view of our nation's capital and the people who joust daily for its power.

Praise for Speech-less
"Deft, surprising, darned entertaining."
--Christopher Buckley

"It's a good read... quite frankly, the stories are funny!"
--Pat Buchanan

Product Details

Broadway Books
Publish Date
September 07, 2010
6.6 X 0.67 X 7.98 inches | 0.5 pounds
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About the Author

Matt Latimer is a New York Times bestselling author with more than a decade of experience at senior levels in Washington, D.C. Latimer served as deputy director of speechwriting to President George W. Bush and chief speechwriter to former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. He was a senior communications staffer for Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and Senator Jon Kyl. Latimer is a graduate of the University of Michigan Law School and a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University. He is an adjunct professor at the George Washington University and partner at Javelin, a literary agency in D.C.