Today in publishing: A new book gives Richard Nixon his very own secret homosexual conspiracy theory, one publisher reminds us that ghost-written Hollywood memoirs are often boring, and one app looks to heal your writer's block.
A new biography of Richard Nixon by former UPI reporter Don Fulsom suggests Nixon may have been having a homosexual affair with his confidante, a banker with mafia ties named Charles 'Bebe' Rebozo, because, of course. Abraham Lincoln, J. Edgar Hoover and Rick Perry got them, so why shouldn't Nixon have a gay conspiracy to call his own? Fulsom's evidence seems to be culled from interviews with journalists and FBI agents that suggest Nixon slept in a separate bedroom from his wife, was once caught holding hands with Rebozo underneath the dinner table, and hugged Rebozo "the way you'd cuddle your senior prom date." Delightful! This is of course the same Richard Nixon who suggested homosexual people "cannot be in places of high trust," which is perhaps the real reason he graciously took himself out of office. No but really, it does appear dangerous to oppose gay rights if your goal is to avoid having your post-mortem reputation sullied with a gay rumor these days. We can just see the presidential retrospective written 40 years from now: Rumors of Same-Sex Relationship Swirled Around Santorum's Presidency. (Yes, our version of the future has him winning it all in 2012.) [Huffington Post, Daily Mail]
Former publisher Michael Korda brings a surprising amount of readability to his essay expounding on the universally acknowledged truth that ghost-written Hollywood memoirs are pretty boring. He spins an entertaining tale about trying to pitch a memoir to Glenn Ford. But when Ford clammed up at the mention of his huge unconsummated crush on Rita Hayworth, Korda knew any ghost-written memoir about him would leave out anything actually interesting. So whose Hollywood autobiographies are actually worth a read, according to Korda? Among the ones he dealt with, he names Charlton Heston, Kirk Douglas, Joan Collins, Karl Malden, Esther Williams, Laurence Olivier, Candice Bergen, and Cher. [The Daily Beast]
The iPad may seem like the pinnacle of distraction. How can one read a book—let alone write one— when there are so many angry birds to be exploded? But one new app seeks to actually improve people's productivity and escape writer's block. ("Writer's block? There's an app for that!" would be our opening for this item, were we suffering from, you know ... writer's block.) The app's description tells us that "Unstuck is a new in-the-moment approach to personal growth for anyone who wants to live better every day. Unstuck offers up personalized digital tools and community to help you get from stuck to unstuck, no matter what the challenge may be." We're not sure that if you're having trouble finishing that novel, logging into a remote community of other people not finishing novels is the best solution, but hey, if you're busy reading this item instead of doing whatever it is you're supposed to be doing, give the app a look and tell us how it works. [Galley Cat, iTunes.]