Ron DeSantis’ Memoir Reads Like It Was Written by ChatGPT: NYT Critic

  • New York Times nonfiction book critic Jennifer Szalai tore into Ron DeSantis’ book on Monday.
  • Szalai writes that DeSantis’ new book “reads like a politician’s memoir riffed on ChatGPT.”
  • He also wrote that the Florida governor’s book lacks charisma.

A book critic for The New York Times has written a scathing critique of the new memoir by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

“While his first book was strange and esoteric enough to clearly have been written by someone, this one reads like a memoir by a politician cast in ChatGPT,” wrote the nonfiction book critic Jennifer Szalai in her review on Monday.

He mentioned OpenAI’s generative AI tool, ChatGPT, which has been known to generate content ranging from college essays to entire textbooks.

Szalai also wrote that DeSantis’ memoir, “The Courage to Be Free,” appeared to be “courageously free of anything resembling charisma, or a discernible sense of humor.”

“His new book will leave some supporters, who encouraged DeSantis to ‘make himself’ for a national audience, very disappointed,” Szalai added.

“In his acknowledgments, he thanked ‘a hardworking group of literary professionals critical to telling the story of Florida,’ but it’s likely that those professionals could only do so much with the material they were given,” he wrote. .

Szalai is a full-time book critic and writes weekly book reviews for The Times.

It is unclear whether ChatGPT was used in any part of the book’s writing. Representatives for DeSantis did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

DeSantis wrote another book in 2011, “Dreams from Our Founding Fathers: First Principles in the Age of Obama.” It was meant as a takedown of former-President Barack Obama, and a direct rebuke to Obama’s first memoir, “Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Heritage.”

The new DeSantis book gives readers a closer look at his life

“The Courage to Be Free,” an in-depth look at DeSantis’ life, was released Feb. 28. The book contains some new information about his political career.

For one, DeSantis wrote how he thinks his Ivy League education at Yale and Harvard Law School put him at a disadvantage when campaigning against other Republicans.

“I viewed degrees from Yale and Harvard Law School as political scarlet letters to a GOP primary,” DeSantis wrote in the book.

“Voters value education and may think I’m an intelligent person, but ‘elite’ universities have become synonymous with leftist ideology and a ruling-class mentality that most grassroots conservatives understand as doubts the institutions,” he added.

DeSantis also included a passage about her marriage to Casey DeSantis, writing that she agreed to get married at Disney World on the condition that “no Disney characters will be a part of our wedding.”

“I want our special day to look and feel like a traditional wedding. I don’t want Mickey Mouse or Donald Duck in our wedding photos,” DeSantis wrote.

Insider’s Kimberly Leonard reported Tuesday that DeSantis left out some major details in her book, including the tiniest details about her parents, siblings, and friends. DeSantis also avoided publishing juicy gossip about her fraught relationship with former President Donald Trump.

The release of the book is a significant indication that DeSantis is eyeing a White House run in 2024, Leonard previously wrote. He has yet to announce his candidacy but is already embroiled in a battle with his one-time ally Trump.

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