Tell-all books

A member of the household staff of former governor Jesse Ventura has written a book "to set the record straight" about what it was like to work for the Ventura family in the governor's mansion. Jesse spent hours watching TV in sullen silence. His wife Terry tried to get trooper escorts to go to the Mall of America for sales. Son Tyrel held wild parties in the mansion. Jade was a well-behaved sixteen-year old.

How do people who write these books live with themselves? Do they think that the money they are paid is worth the permanent loss of their integrity? I am reminded of the staffers who write gossipy books about the British royal family. What scum.

There are some very good books by staffers of the prominent. The memoirs of Lord Moran, Churchill's personal physician, come to mind. Reading his account after reading Churchill's own memoirs gives great insight into the personality of the great Prime Minister. Moran had the decency to wait until Churchill was dead to publish the memoirs--which I think are valuable. For instance, Churchill likely suffered a heart attack while staying at the White House during the war. Moran knew he was ill. He also knew that Churchill would hear nothing of resting. So, the two of them sort of swept the heart attack under the rug. Moran held his breath, concealing the gravity of the situation even from Churchill, and the prime minister soldiered forward without anybody knowing better.

Moran's book was decent and sympathetic. Most tell-alls are not. They constitute a betrayal of confidence and trust. Betrayal in exchange for cash is a low form of human behavior, and it seems to be getting more common all the time.