This bleg originally went to Cole, who kicked it over to me:
Two close friends, who are avid readers of yours – Johannes and La Caterina (Mrs. Johannes) – suggested I contact you. I’m a writer and former Congressional staffer writing a book, “The Last Campaign: How Presidents Rewrite History, Run for Posterity and Enshrine Their Legacies.” I examine presidential libraries, commemoration, access to presidential records, open government and FOIA. It’s about – to use a marketing phrase – what presidents do to keep us from knowing what presidents do.
I currently have a Kickstarter project to raise funds for my final research trips for the book. I was hoping you could please take a look, and consider writing about it…
One of my recent jobs on the Hill was running hearings and investigations of the presidential libraries and National Archives for the Oversight Committee during the 111th Congress, when Democrats were in the majority. In the past few months I’ve written some articles at Salon, including about the George W. Bush Library and Darrell Issa.
I would appreciate your help in getting the word out about my project to your readers, who I think would be very interested in it.
From the Kickstarter page:
WHY the book is called The Last Campaign
When presidents run for re-election, they often call it their “last campaign” because no future electoral contest awaits them. However, they do engage in the fight to shape their legacy: to rewrite it, control it and enshrine it. For decades, former presidents have seen their approval ratings rise each year they are out of office, due directly to the aggressive, ongoing campaign at their library – and the fact that their most important records are not available to us.
There are now thirteen federally-run presidential libraries in the United States, from Herbert Hoover to George W. Bush. President Barack Obama has begun plans for his own, and locations across the country are vying to be selected as the site. The libraries are the greatest sources of popular American history of the last eighty years, through their exhibits and educational and public programs, and the books, articles, theses and films produced using their resources.
Yet few books have been written about them, and none has examined the libraries’ politics and political history – especially the role that big, private money plays in their planning, development and operation, and the way that political parties use some of these federal institutions for their own purposes…
Yeah, I’ve kicked in. Enough of us do so, we might be able to capture Mr. Clark for a Book Chat next year, maybe…