Grace tells the story of ten amazing days in America in june 2015, when President Obama and Keenan co-composed critical speeches in response to a whirlwind of dramatic moments too unlikely for a full season of “The West Wing”: The Gruesome Charleston massacre at the church, where nine black worshipers were murdered by a white supremacist, a public debate over the Confederate flag and two long-awaited Supreme Court rulings: one that would decide the fate of healthcare for millions of people, and one that would determine the right to marriage equality for millions more. President Obama’s eulogy for the victims served as a coda at the end of these extraordinary ten days – and in what is considered one of the happiest moments of his presidency, Obama surprised everyone by leading the country in a choir of “Amazing Grace”.
Through his captivating account of this pivotal period in American history, Keenan offers a deeply textured insight into the art of speechwriting at the highest level and the most intimate look to date on the even higher demands of the world. work when your boss is Barack obama.
“Grace started with a series of tweets to mark the second anniversary this week, “Keenan said.” At first all I wanted to do was tell a story to show what this country can be at its best and what to write with Barack obama is actually like when the stakes are highest. The years that have passed since have only added context to how these ten days help make sense of the larger body of American progress and response, this clash of two fundamentally opposed visions of the ‘America – and now seems like a good time to finally sit down and write everything on top. ”
Keenan wrote with Barack obama since 2007, after a campaign internship in Chicago become Speechwriter in the White House and Obama’s post-presidential aide. A sought-after expert in politics and current affairs, Keenan speaks to universities, foundations and congresses around the world. He teaches a popular course on political speech writing at his alma mater Northwestern University, where he gave the keynote address in 2018, viewed over nine million times on Facebook, and where the Class of 2020 chose him to deliver their “Last Talk”.
Editor-in-chief HMH Deanne urmy acquired the North American auction and audio rights for HMH’s Sugar23 Books imprint from Todd shuster, co-CEO of Aevitas Creative Management.
“Grace offers extraordinary insight into the mind of President Obama and introduces to the world another prolific American thinker, Cody himself, ”said michael sugar, director of Sugar23. “Being near Cody and helping to post Grace is one of the real honors of my life to date. I started Sugar23 Books with the intention of helping tell stories that deserve and need to be told, and Grace is exactly that – a ray of hope, of light and good, please, at a time when we all need it most. ”
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