9780688149147 / 0688149146

Scorpion Tongues: Gossip, Celebrity, And American Politics


Publisher:William Morrow



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About the book:

If you think the stories about Bill Clinton are outrageous, Gail Collins has some tales that will really burn your ears. Scandalous rumors have been a part of American politics since the days of George Washington's alleged mistresses and Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings. Grover Cleveland was rumored to have beaten his wife so severely during her pregnancy that their daughter was born with extensive brain damage. When Woodrow Wilson proposed to his second wife, a popular joke claimed, she was so surprised that she fell out of bed. And John Fremont's 1856 run for office was destroyed by repeated whisperings that he was, variously, illegitimate, Catholic, and a cannibal. Collins insightfully traces the relationship between gossip and government from an era when politics was the national pastime to the present blurring of the lines between politicians and celebrities.

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