The Washington Book: How to Read Politics and Politicians review unpicking the lexicon of America’s leaders


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Politicians mince or mash words for a living, and the virtuosity with which they twist meanings makes them artists of a kind. Their skill at spinning facts counts as a fictional exercise: in political jargon, a “narrative” is a storyline that warps truth for partisan purposes. Carlos Lozada, formerly a reviewer for the Washington Post and now a columnist at the New York Times, specialises in picking apart these professional falsehoods. Analysing windy orations, ghostwritten memoirs and faceless committee reports, the essays in his book expose American presidents, members of Congress and supreme court justices as unreliable narrators, inveterate deceivers...