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Publishers to Bush on memoir: Don't hurry

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Publishers interviewed for an AP story today had a few words of advice to outgoing president George W. Bush: If you're thinking of writing a book, take your time.

"In a poor economy, it's not a great time for anyone to shop a book," the story notes, "and certainly not for a deeply unpopular president."

“If I were advising President Bush, given how the public feels about him right now, I think patience would probably be something that I would encourage,” said Paul Bogaards, executive director of publicity for Alfred A. Knopf.

The article goes on to point out that Bush has sometimes compared himself to Harry Truman, who was very unpopular when he left the White House in 1953 but is now widely regarded as an American hero. However, the story continues, "It took years for him to gain such affection and Truman's two-volume memoir, published in the 1950s, is less remembered than a book about him published in the 1990s, David McCullough's million-selling 'Truman.' "

"Only in hindsight will history show whether Bush is deemed to be a good president who sacrificed his presidency for what he believed in or whether history judges him to be a failed president,” said Marj Ross, president and publisher of the conservative Regnery Publishing.

Meanwhile, in the UK, there's a piece in today's Guardian by Rob Woodward pondering the connection between the writing skills of US presidents and their success in office.

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