- New York Times nonfiction critic Jennifer Szalai ripped Ron DeSantis’ book on Monday.
- Szalai wrote that DeSantis’ new book “reads like the memoir of a politician who launched ChatGPT.”
- He also wrote that the Florida governor’s book has no charisma.
A New York Times book reviewer has written a scathing review of Florida Gov. Ron DeSandis’ new memoir.
“While his first book was strange and arcane enough to be obviously written by a man, this feels like the memoir of a politician created by ChatGPT,” nonfiction critic Jennifer Szalai wrote in her review Monday.
He was referring to OpenAI’s AI creation tool, ChatGPT, which has been known to produce content ranging from college essays to full-length books.
Szalai also wrote that DeSantis’s memoir, “The Courage to Be Free,” appeared to be “courageously devoid of anything resembling charisma or a distinct sense of humor.”
“His new book will leave some supporters, who encouraged DeSantis to ‘humanize himself’ for a national audience, very disappointed,” Szalai added.
“In his acknowledgments, he thanks ‘a hardworking group of literary professionals who were critical to the telling of Florida’s story,’ but presumably 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 not clear if ChatGPT was used in any part of the writing of the book. 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 aimed at removing then-President Barack Obama and a direct rebuke of Obama’s first memoir, “Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance.”
DeSantis’ new book gives readers a closer look at his life
“The Courage to Be Free,” a deeper look into DeSantis’ life, was released on February 28. The book contains some new information about his political career.
First, DeSantis wrote about how he believed his Ivy League education at Yale and Harvard Law School put him at a disadvantage when campaigning against other Republicans.
“I considered degrees from Yale and Harvard Law School to be political scarlet letters as the GOP primary progressed,” DeSantis wrote in the book.
“Voters valued education and probably assumed I was a smart guy, but these ‘elite’ universities had become so synonymous with leftist ideology and ruling-class mentality that most grassroots conservatives were understandably skeptical of these institutions.” he added.
DeSantis also included a quote about his marriage to Casey DeSantis, writing that he agreed to get married at Disney World on the condition that “no Disney characters could be a part of our wedding.”
“I wanted our special day to look and feel like a traditional wedding. I didn’t want Mickey Mouse or Donald Duck in our wedding photos,” DeSantis wrote.
Insider’s Kimberly Leonard reported Tuesday that DeSantis left out some important details in his book, including only the barest details about his parents, siblings and friends. DeSantis also refrained from publishing juicy gossip about his rocky relationship with former President Donald Trump.
The book’s release is a key indicator that DeSantis is eyeing a White House run in 2024, Leonard previously wrote. He has yet to announce his candidacy, but is already deeply embroiled in a feud with his onetime ally, Trump.