Bill Clinton's Phaidon connection

Bill just bought a couple of Phaidon books, and it's not the first time he's come into contact with one of the authors
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Bill Clinton and the covers of the two Phaidon books he bought, Failed It, and The Book of Bones
Bill Clinton and the covers of the two Phaidon books he bought, Failed It, and The Book of Bones

On the first of November, Bill Clinton, the 42nd President of the United States, took a break from an official visit to Clinton Foundation projects in St Louis, Missouri, and with his security detail in tow, walked into the American Institute of Architects St. Louis bookshop to buy a couple of Phaidon books: Book of Bones and Failed It!

It was a proud moment for both Phaidon and the authors of those titles. However, it wasn’t the first time President Clinton had come across one of those authors. The photo curator, advertising executive and creative Erik Kessels, who wrote our wonderful tribute to creative mistake making, Failed It!, met Clinton almost exactly five years earlier. “It was during a congress in Amsterdam,” recalled Kessels, sending us this accompanying picture. “We both delivered a lecture on ‘Creativity’.”

 

Clinton with Erik Kessels in Amserdam, November 2012. Image courtesy of Erik Kessels
Clinton with Erik Kessels in Amserdam, November 2012. Image courtesy of Erik Kessels

Gabrielle Balkan, the author of our excellent new children’s publication looking at the animal kingdoms most impressive skeletons, Book of Bones, never had that privilege, yet Bill’s recent purchase has certainly set her thinking.

“I often write with a reader in mind – imagining, maybe, my own self and my struggles with science from my school days, my own children's sense of humor, or someone I've met through school visits – but it never occurred to me to think of one of my favorite Presidents as a reader!” she says.

Now she knows Bill has a copy, what does she think he’ll make of it? “My hope is he'll laugh at my jokes and be surprised by the size comparisons – just like any reader!” says Balkan. “And, of course, enjoy reading it with a friend.”

 

Book of Bones

To find out more about the books Bill chose, take a look at Failed It! here and Book of Bones here.


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ABOUT PHAIDON

Phaidon is the premier global publisher of the creative arts with over 1,500 titles in print. We work with the world's most influential artists, chefs, writers and thinkers to produce innovative books on art, photography, design, architecture, fashion, food and travel, and illustrated books for children. Phaidon is headquartered in London and New York City.
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