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Book Review: And The Good News Is…: Lessons On Life From The Bright Side
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Book Review: And The Good News Is…: Lessons On Life From The Bright Side - Executive Leadership Articles

Book Review: And The Good News Is…: Lessons On Life From The Bright Side

Executive Leadership Articles

Book Review: And The Good News Is…: Lessons On Life From The Bright Side

Dana Perino didn’t take the usual route, if there is such a thing, to becoming a White House press secretary in the George W. Bush administration. Raised as part of a farming family, she didn’t attend an Ivy League school or get a high-profile media job. In And the Good New Is…: Lessons on Life from the Bright Side (Twelve Books, 2015), Perino describes her story as a series of right-place right-time experiences where, when confronted with options, she chose the optimistic route, which led her to a stint as the only female Republican White House press secretary in history and later, as a host of Fox News’s The Five.

It’s easy to forget, when considering our most public of public figures, that none of us is as bad as our worst public moment or as good as our best public moment. The reality is that a human being occupies the Oval Office, not the caricature many of us are led to believe. Perino understands that she had a unique perspective on the man behind the lectern, and she plays that angle for all its worth in describing her two years in his service.

It mostly works, and darn if it doesn’t manage to leave a tear in your eye more than once. Perino might take a bit too long to tell a story, but she knows how to hit the notes that make you want her to tell it again. In a narrative voice that borders on folksy (and could have used a bit of careful editing), Perino starts with a few White House stories, then winds it back to give us too many details about her family, including the names of her grandparents’ pets. The family tree stuff gets tiresome, but it’s not long before we’re following Perino to the White House and to Fox News, the most interesting portions of the book.

If you can’t tell from the title, Perino is big on positivity, a note she strikes from the very beginning when retelling a story about receiving a black eye in the famous shoe-throwing incident in Iraq. Not content to deliver a memoir, the author spends the second half of her book (three chapters) doling advice about looking on the sunny side, keeping things civil, and taking a meaningful stance when situations call for one. “I believe that a positive outlook and treating others with respect, dignity, and graciousness lead to professional and personal success,” she writes in the intro as what could serve as the outline for the book, adding, “speaking with graciousness, class, and poise [is] the most effective way to communicate and to keep your self respect.”

Whatever your political leanings, And the Good News Is is a good, quick read from someone with a good story to tell. More than just a look at President by a former trusted aide, and more than a journalistic treatise on the state of politics today, it is a non-threatening, optimistic take on professional excellence and personal integrity.

 

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Book Review: And The Good News Is…: Lessons On Life From The Bright Side - Executive Leadership Articles

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