Public or private?

Public or private?

Ex-President Donald Trump apparently has a book coming out in another month or so, which will provide around 150 letters sent to him by a wide array of public figures, such as politicians, entertainers etc. As well as the text of these, it has been reported that the book will also provide photographic copies.

As may be imagined, this has ruffled many feathers, and a number of the people who apparently have letters in the book have given public interviews criticising it. This raises a question about when letters sent between one person and another become public documents; for as well as Trump‘s actions in assuming that anything he does is okay, there is also an assumption that letters from such people, public figures to another public figure, are fair game. Private letters between public figures take on elements of the public sphere. But even among ambitious figures, there is rarely such breaking of tacit confidences.

Last updated: 17 March 2023


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