BOOK NOTES: 'The Gettysburg Approach to Writing & Speaking’ joins forces with ‘The Gettysburg Collection’

Special to HuntingtonNews.Net

If two heads are better than one, then maybe two books are better than one, especially when they complement each other. This is the case with The Gettysburg Approach to Writing & Speaking like a Professional by Philip Yaffe, which has just been supplemented by The Gettysburg Collection, and both are available as Kindle (Amazon.com) e-books.

Philip Yaffe is a former writer with The Wall Street Journal and an international marketing communication consultant living in Brussels, Belgium.

The Gettysburg Approach was published in March 2010 in print only, and then made available as a Kindle (Amazon.com) e-book in November. The Gettysburg Collection joined it as a Kindle e-book in late December.

Its full title is The Gettysburg Collection: An In-depth Companion to The Gettysburg Approach to Writing & Speaking like a Professional, which indicates its purpose.

“Different writers explain what they do differently, so different novice writers respond to them differently. Certain novices may gain great benefit from a given book, while others may gain little or nothing. The trick is to choose at least two books, and preferable three or more, so that the short-comings of one might be compensated by the strengths of another,”  Yaffe says.

The Gettysburg Approach to Writing & Speaking like a Professional takes the form of a quasi-textbook. There is a very short “theoretical” section stressing the commonality between writing and speaking, together with numerous appendices of examples, analyses, and exercises to make the theory concrete.

“All the key principles and techniques needed to become a better writer and speaker are well covered; however, because it is a quasi-textbook, some topics could not be covered as deeply as I would have liked," Yaffe adds.

The Gettysburg Collection fills this gap.

“Over the past several years I have written numerous articles on how to become a better writer and a better public speaker. As a compilation of these articles, The Gettysburg Collection explores many of the ideas introduced in The Gettysburg Approach, but in considerably more depth,”  Yaffe explains.

As a bonus, the new book contains a section on “pithy prose.” These are well-turned comments by well-known authors on writing, speaking, and other topics of general interest.

“The two books can be read independently; however reading them synergistically is likely to produce better results,” he says. He recommends two approaches.

1. First, read and work your way through the examples, analyses and exercises in The Gettysburg Approach. Then read The Gettysburg Collection to benefit from its more extensive coverage on certain key points.

2. Start with The Gettysburg Approach. If at any point, a principle or technique incites your particular interest, see how it is covered in The Gettysburg Collection. Once you are satisfied, return to The Gettysburg Approach until the next time you are incited to seek more detailed information.

Editor's Note: For David M. Kinchen's March 31, 2010 review of "The Gettysburg Approach", click: http://archives.huntingtonnews.net/columns/100331-kinchen-columnsbookreview.html

About the author

Philip A. Yaffe was born in Boston in 1942 and grew up in Los Angeles. In 1965 he graduated in mathematics from UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles), where he was also editor-in-chief of the Daily Bruin, the daily student newspaper. Yaffe has more than 40 years of experience in journalism and marketing communication. At various points in his career, he has been a teacher of journalism, a reporter/feature writer with The Wall Street Journal, an account executive with a major international press relations agency, European marketing communication director with two major international companies, and a founding partner of a marketing communication agency in near Brussels, Belgium, where he has lived since 1974. Contact: phil.yaffe@yahoo.com or phil.yaffe@gmail.com.

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