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Larry Summers's next step: a book?

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J. Scott Applewhite

(Read caption) Summers's controversial career would make for a lively memoir.

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Larry Summers is a book waiting to be written.

The White House announced yesterday that the former president of Harvard University will leave his post as President Obama’s top economic adviser at the end of the year.

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“I will always be grateful that at a time of great peril for our country, a man of Larry’s brilliance, experience, and judgment was willing to answer the call and lead our economic team,” Obama said in a statement.

Rumors are flying about why Summers is leaving – or whether he is being forced to leave. His short tenure – he assumed office in January 2009 – was rife with controversy. Summers has come under fire for his ties to Wall Street, his aggressive manner in meetings, and his economic-policy arguments.

Indeed, controversy seems to follow Summers wherever he goes. During his tenure as president of Harvard, the blunt-spoken economist sparked national fury when he suggested that the underrepresentation of women in science and engineering careers may be due to a difference in aptitude.

Of course, all that controversy would make for a fascinating memoir. And the signs certainly seem to suggest that a book may be in the works.

Summers said in a statement released by the White House that he was “looking forward to returning to Harvard to teach and write.”

The Atlantic claimed that he was writing a book last year, based on his financial disclosure form, which shows he’s taken an advance for a book.

Richard Bradley has already written a book about Summers’s turbulent years as an Ivy League president, titled "Harvard Rules: Lawrence Summers and the Battle for the World’s Most Powerful University."

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What’s next? "White House Rules: Larry Summers and the Battle for the World’s Most Powerful Economy"?

Husna Haq is a frequent Monitor contributor.

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