10 must-have books for speechwriters

What books do you turn to for inspiration? Technical advice and creative inspiration fill the pages of these compendia.

Those of us who write for a living know that most books on “how to write” are far more for the benefit of the author than the reader; that is, they are often make-a-buck hardbacks for resourceful authors, dangled before people who prefer to imagine the writer’s life than to indulge in its air-conditioned torment and capriciously timed paydays.

The few “writing” books I find worth my time offer unique supporting material not available on the Internet, and encourage me to think about my work from a new perspective. On that basis, here are ten or so titles that every speechwriter—every writer, actually—can learn from, and even enjoy.

The Elements of Style” by William Strunk and E.B. White. This comes first because by comparison everything else is mere ornament. “Strunk and White” is a lesson in clarity delivered with wit and brevity. You can’t read this and not become a better writer.

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