Book Riot recently published a list of non-fiction books they think ought be reshelved as fiction. Believe it or not, Lance Armstrong’s memoir (and pretty much any book he’s written or contributed to) didn’t merit a mention. Really?
But, maybe it’s just “too soon” to go there. The worst thing about the list is that Book Riot settled on Sarah Palin’s Going Rogue, as the token politician’s memoir to grace the list. Now, it goes without saying that any politicians memoir will be stretch the truth and make the author sound more favorable in the events that make them relevant enough that we should want even read about their lives, but the basis for including Going Rogue in the list, out of all politicians’ memoirs, is because, brace yourselves, McCain campaign staffers contradicted her version of events during the 2008 presidential campaign.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m sure Palin has her version of what transpired, and the staffers have theirs. Nothing too shocking there. Okay, Sarah Palin is really high profile. I get that. But, they couldn’t think of anyone more high profile whose memoir has come under fire for being… shall I say, full of crap?
It was less than a year ago when internet was all abuzz over David Maraniss’s book, Barack Obama: The Story, for its revelations of the many fabrications contained in Obama’s memoir, Dreams From My Father. Even Buzzfeed’s Ben Smith “counted 38 instances in which [Maraniss] convincingly disputes significant elements of Obama’s own story of his life and his family history.” If Ben Smith can admit that, then you know we’re not simply talking about a mere he said, she said scenario.
While some of the lies in Obama’s book are minor (a “composite” girlfriend that never existed) some are more significant fabrications (Obama’s grandfather was not imprisoned and tortured by the British like he claimed,) all of which contributed to a false personal narrative of a man whose personal story helped get him elected to the highest office of the land.
When an American president’s own life story turns out to be a lie, it is, as Joe Biden might put it, “a big f**king deal.” Apparently just not big enough to make Book Riot’s list.