In Exceptional: American Exceptionalism Takes Its Toll, author William Boardman examines forms of American denial that shape a country where there is little integrity in public discourse, truth is optional and society is out of rational control.
The book is a anthology of Boardman’s best essays since 2012, mostly first published online at Reader Supported News. Each piece is a snapshot in time, when the author was reacting to the moment, whether that was an act of voter suppression, the start of an aggressive war, the police killing of another unarmed black person, or the failed humanity of so many of America’s “leaders.”
Thus begins the Call Me Pisher: A Madcap Romp Through City Hall, a hilarious, informative and undoubtedly (to some) maddening account of former City Councillor Howard Moscoe’s 32 years in public office.
Moscoe used the tradecraft of all those questionable vocations to cajole, manipulate and beguile his council colleagues, as he fought to improve the quality of life in his ward and throughout the city.
And you will discover why the name Moscoe elicited widely varying, and sometimes extreme, reactions. Former Mayor Mel Lastman derided Moscoe as “the best excuse for birth control I know.” And Toronto Star columnist Royson James offered this assessment: “Moscoe is no angel. He is a blustery, bombastic, hard-nosed advocate for the disabled, the downtrodden, and anyone else that comes up against the wall of bureaucracy that is often erected at city hall. His advocacy often brings him into conflict with the bureaucrats who really run the city. What the councillor lacks in finesse he makes up in integrity.”
The Woodstock Country School rose on the wave of American energy and idealism following World War II. It existed from 1945 to 1980, and if not for a series of fatal missteps, it might still be thriving now.
This remarkable history, written by an alumnus and former teacher at the school, reads like a novel, as dozens of characters struggle first to build the school, then to save it. Despite their good intentions, the 35-year effort foundered on their frailties, irresponsibilities, and a fatally imperfect understanding of what made the school so magical for so many.
"You could call it a Rorschach history," says Boardman, who attended WCS from 1952 to 1956 and taught there from 1971 to 1976, "or maybe a collage, since there are hundreds of voices telling the story, each from his or her own perspective, yet there is a remarkable shared perspective of an essentially ineffable institution."
WCS tells the story of the school's rise and flourishing, even as it relied on charismatic headmaster David Bailey, whose charisma and dominance shaped the institutional denial that proved too strong to allow the school to survive.
In the Spotlight provides step-by-step direction to prepare for and give media interviews. It explains the communications principles and concepts that underpin great interviews. And it shines with anecdotes and case histories drawn from Ed’s illustrious career as a journalist and communicator.
Ed Shiller’s ground-breaking approach will enable you to answer even the most aggressive questions with a calmness and sincerity that will earn the trust of the public and of the media.