SOURCE: Author James W. Symington

August 17, 2015 09:00 ET

Statesman's Recall: Funny and Heartfelt

Symington Book Charms With Tales of Politics and People

KNOXVILLE, TN--(Marketwired - Aug 17, 2015) - Diplomat, politician, lawyer and musician, James W. Symington is all these and more, a public servant who served America when public service was a noble calling. His new book, HEARD AND OVERHEARD: Words Wise (and Otherwise) with Politicians, Statesmen and Real People (Posterity Press and New Academia Publishing), is a medley of vignettes -- many of them about key moments in history -- told from his perspectives as congressman, diplomat and right-hand man to one Ambassador, an Attorney General and the President of the United States. It is illustrated with photographs, some published for the first time when the book debuts August 17.

Symington has a rare addiction for Washington: he listens. Working for Bobby Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson and Jock Whitney, he was present -- often a participant -- as national and world events unfolded. Witnessing history from the New Deal to President Obama's Cuba initiative, Symington recorded remarks "ranging in propriety from blasphemy to prayer." To read them is to relive great days, meet giants (and villains) of our time, and savor a narrative that is epic in scope, gem-like in brilliance, and laugh-out-loud hilarious. Readers rave:

Foreword Magazine calls HEARD and OVERHEARD "Funny, poignant, and enlightening... Whether read quickly or leisurely, these remembrances captivate and entertain." 

President George H. W. Bush: "Jimmy Symington is a one man institution, and one of the better ones at that... It is impossible to imagine Washington, D.C. without Jimmy Symington; and now that he has given us this memoir-for-the-ages, we won't have to... A splendid read, by a splendid guy." 

President Johnson's daughter Linda Byrd Robb and her husband, former Senator Charles Robb: "As a storyteller, Jim Symington is a worthy challenger to his fellow Missourian, Mark Twain. Jim may be the wittiest blueblood who ever served in public office. He is the quintessential aristocrat, yet overcame the handicap of his pedigreed birth with music and mirth... Readers will delight in his puckish tidbits from the fast lane."

William H. Webster, former CIA and FBI director, applauds Symington's "rare behind-the-scenes look at the most colorful characters on the world stage... Intriguing and often hilarious stories abound in this book. Don't miss a page!"

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Words Wise (and Otherwise) with Politicians, Statesmen, and Real People
By James W. Symington
Publication date: August 17, 2015
New Academia Publishing/Posterity Press
40 black and white photographs
HC ISBN 978-0-9915047-0-1, $36.00, 286 pages, History
PB ISBN 978-0-9864353-3-1, $24.95, 286 pages, History

Documents and/or Photos available for this release:

Book cover for HEARD AND OVERHEARD by James W. Symington

To view supporting documents and/or photos, go to and enter Release ID: 390320

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