Top positive review
Best Political Language Book Available Anywhere
Reviewed in the United States on September 16, 2004
Grant Barrett's HATCHET JOBS AND HARDBALL is the best political language book available anywhere.
I must admit that I know Barrett, and some of my work can be found here as the earliest citations for "beep" and "John Q. Public" and more.
With respect to the "Windy City" comments below, this is not a book of regional political slang. There are many thousands of short-lived, localized political words and phrases and nicknames. To record them all would be exhausting, probably impossible and probably pointless. This is a national book, intended for a modern audience.
Barrett has used the latest word-searching technology (Pro Quest Historical Newspapers and NewspaperArchive, for example) that has been available only in the past year. The book's citations are exhaustive and up-to-date, the best that can be found.
The book is clearly laid out and easy to flip through. It does what it promises to do, and for that receives four stars.
Only a "piebiter" could ask for more. Look it up!