OnTheIssues.org


Home Issues Leaders Recent Grid Archive Senate House VoteMatch_Quiz FAQs
 2016 Election:  Hillary's book Trump's book Bernie's book Ted Cruz's book  |   2016 Senate   Debates 

Books by and about 2016 presidential candidates
Hard Choices,
by Hillary Clinton (2014)
Crippled America ,
by Donald J. Trump (2015)
Trump vs. Hillary On The Issues ,
by Jesse Gordon (2016)
Outsider in the White House,
by Bernie Sanders (2015)
American Dreams,
by Marco Rubio (2015)
Taking a Stand,
by Rand Paul (2015)
Unintimidated,
by Scott Walker (2013)
A Time for Truth,
by Ted Cruz (2015)
One Nation,
by Ben Carson (2014)
Trump/Pence vs. Clinton/Kaine On the Issues ,
by Jesse Gordon (2016)
Living History ,
by Hillary Rodham Clinton (2003)
Between Hope and History ,
by Bill Clinton (1996)
In Harm’s Way ,
by Dr. Jill Stein (2000)
Democrat vs. Republican vs. Green vs. Libertarian,
Four Party's Presidential Nominees On The Issues (2016)
Books by and about 2012 presidential candidates
Ten Letters
about Pres. Barack Obama (2011)
Do Not Ask What Good We Do
about Rep. Paul Ryan (2012)

Book Reviews

(from Amazon.com)

(click a book cover for a review or other books by or about the presidency from Amazon.com)

Quotable Elizabeth Warren
edited by Frank Marshall



(Click for Amazon book review)

    Click on a participant to pop-up their full list of quotations
    from The Quotable Elizabeth Warren (number of quotes indicated):
  • Elizabeth Warren (20)
    OR click on an issue category below for a subset.

OnTheIssues.org BOOK REVIEW:

This book gives "excerpt books" a bad name. At OnTheIssues, we do like excerpt books because we publish many of them, but we don't like THIS excerpt book. The excerpts are too short – they need context, not just a dozen words and a citation. For example, "Real reform isn't easy. But I also know this: If we don't fight, we can't win -- to the AFL-CIO convention" (p. 117). That's only 16 words – What type of reform? Fight against what? Win what? So much is left out that it's merely a headline, not really an excerpt at all. The brevity of this book makes it feel like the usual mainstream media out-of-context blurbs – meaningless because they are so short.

Worse yet, the editor (he doesn't call himself "author") chooses to split up longer excerpts into several smaller blurbs. For example, we spotted the same citation ("Blog post, January 2014" – what blog? Her own? What context?) on page 22 in the "Financial Bailout" chapter; and on page 46 & 47 in the "American People" chapter. Might we see the fuller context by associating the items split up? An index would do that (this book lacks one), or a cross-reference to the other excerpts from the same citation (this book lacks that too).

Then there's the "date problem." Some citations have dates, while others do not. Often the lack of a date greatly diminishes the context and meaning of the excerpt. For example, in the chapter "On Health Care," an excerpt from Warren's campaign website is cited, "Federal policy is now moving in the right direction" (p. 141). Well, which policy is moving in the right direction? Obama's or Bush's? That would be determined if the year were cited, but it is not. Time-oriented terminology is also not explained, for example, "I support the president's recent actions to help these kids" (p. 153) – that one has a date (June 2012) but no explanation of what that "recent action" is – is the reader supposed to look it up? (We did – Warren meant DACA, the controversial executive order on "Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals" that President Obama implemented in June 2012 – but the book should explain that, not us!)

And speaking of a lack of explanation, the book also lacks any explanation of "insider terms" – they are just laid out "verbatim," presumably because the author was afraid to change one term in the original context [that is what editorial brackets are for!]. For example, "The CFPB and Warren had become a symbol" (p. 170) – what is CFPB? [it is the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, proposed by Warren in 2007, which became a federal agency in 2011]. And another example, "an audience member… accused her of being a whore aligned with the OWS movement" (p. 178) – what is OWS [it is the Occupy Wall Street movement]. That is fine for pundits who know all those terms – but it feels like "Inside Baseball," where no one can follow the story in less than a week, to normal readers. Perhaps a glossary would be useful – there isn't one – or some sort of explanation – there isn't any – so the reader isn't left confused.

All of our complaints are encapsulated all in one excerpt – an undated citation from "Indian Country Today" asserting that "if one has to research to try and ascertain if they are Native American, I would have great concerns… and wonder if that was a vehicle she would want to use to her benefit. If that is the case, shame on her" (p. 201). Well, IS that the case? The opinion of the writer in "Indian Country Today" is certainly relevant – the issue at the time was whether Warren had cited her Native American heritage to get an affirmative-action appointment at Harvard University – but the reader doesn't get to see the writer's opinion, or an explanation of the context of the dispute, or its outcome, or even what year the excerpt was written, so we might figure out if the outcome was still pending at that time, or what was going on.

This book holds valuable lessons for anyone considering writing a similar book: Read this book to see every possible type of error one could make in a book of excerpts. OnTheIssues takes those lessons to heart, and our excerpt books follow these rules:

  • No excerpt shorter than about 50 words (to avoid the "out-of-context blurb" problem)
  • Link excerpts from a common source to other excerpts from the same source (we do that online; in our books, we provide an index and cross-references, so that readers can find the fuller context and avoid the "split excerpt" problem)
  • Every excerpt includes a date, every time, and an explanation [in editorial brackets], if needed, to explain what was obvious to contemporary readers but what might not be as obvious when reading it a year or more later (to avoid the "date problem")
  • When obscure terms are used (like "CFPB" or "OWS"), explain them, provide background information about them, and provide a glossary and index (to avoid the "Inside Baseball" problem).
We've been enforcing that list for five years now, and we reinforce our rules when we see awful books like this that have no rules whatsoever. Yes, you can use this book to find out some tidbits about Warren – but it is by no means a good source!

-- Jesse Gordon, editor-in-chief, OnTheIssues.org, Aug. 2016

 OnTheIssues.org excerpts:  (click on issues for details)
Budget & Economy
    Elizabeth Warren: When risk & cost aren't disclosed, it's bad for our country.
    Elizabeth Warren: Middle class grows economy, not financial sector.
Corporations
    Elizabeth Warren: I share the frustration of Occupy Wall Street.
Education
    Elizabeth Warren: Give college students the same deal as corporations get.
Energy & Oil
    Elizabeth Warren: Invest now in 21st-century energy.
Free Trade
    Elizabeth Warren: Make trade deals transparent, even if that causes opposition.
    Elizabeth Warren: Trade deals are Christmas gifts for big corporations.
Government Reform
    Elizabeth Warren: OpEd: Bullies regulated companies into donation disclosure.
Gun Control
    Elizabeth Warren: Huge difference between sportsmen's guns and assault weapons.
Health Care
    Elizabeth Warren: Insurance isn't on/off: real coverage vs. faux coverage.
    Elizabeth Warren: Obvious solution is universal single-payer healthcare.
    Elizabeth Warren: No Medicare vouchers and no privatization.
Immigration
    Elizabeth Warren: Support the DREAM Act: let immigrants into army or college.
Jobs
    Elizabeth Warren: Make it easier for workers to organize.
    Elizabeth Warren: Minimum wage workers haven't gotten a raise in 7 years.
Principles & Values
    Elizabeth Warren: Supported Republicans for years prior to political career.
Social Security
    Elizabeth Warren: Retirement benefits are about our values, not about math.
Technology
    Elizabeth Warren: Upgrade our aging roads, mass transit, & water lines.
War & Peace
    Elizabeth Warren: Strong sanctions against Iranian nukes, with other countries.
Welfare & Poverty
    Elizabeth Warren: Those in poverty fight for crumbs left over from the wealthy.


The above quotations are from Quotable Elizabeth Warren
edited by Frank Marshall.

Logo
All material copyright 1999-2015
by OnTheIssues.org
Reprinting by permission only.

E-mail: submit@OnTheIssues.org
Mail
Send donations or submit quotations to:
OnTheIssues.org
1770 Massachusetts Ave. #630
Cambridge, MA 02140



OnTheIssues.org
Home Page
Most recent quotations Archive of books & debates Candidate Matching Quiz

Page last edited: Oct 29, 2016