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  • Writer's pictureBarbara Basbanes Richter

Yes, Even George Washington Had a Ghostwriter

Updated: Aug 2, 2022

Ghostwriters have been helping authors for centuries.

In Author in Chief: The Untold Story of Our Presidents and the Books They Wrote, journalist Craig Fehrman explores America's presidents as authors, including the ghostwriters who helped bring some of their books to the printed page. During a recent interview with NPR's Steve Inskeep, Fehrman said that, "the history of ghostwriting in America goes all the way back to George Washington and his farewell address. There's as much of Alexander Hamilton and John Adams in that speech as there is George Washington. But the secret is in getting yourself really good ghostwriters." (Listen to the entire story here.) Even John F. Kennedy employed a ghostwriter to pen his Pulitzer Prize-winning Profiles in Courage. In other words, when considering whether to hire a ghostwriter, remember that you're in good company. And although it's rare that I can share upcoming ghostwriting projects, I am pleased to announce that Bancroft Press has published my translation of Mademoiselle de Malepeire, by Fanny Reybaud (1802-1870). This 19th-century twisted romance opens by describing a captivating portrait of a beautiful aristocrat, inspiring a young scholar to discover the subject's true identity, only to find a French Revolution-era tale of murder and deception instead. While unraveling the mystery of the painting, the story also subtly examines the "proper" role of a woman in society--in other words, a story that feels surprisingly relevant today. So, are you ready to get your book out of the planning stage? Let my team and I help make your book a reality.


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