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Politician, diplomat, lawyer, musician, author, James W. Symington is all these and more, a man dedicated to public service who served our country when public service was seen as a noble profession. His new book, HEARD AND OVERHEARD: Words Wise (and Otherwise) with Politicians, Statesmen, and Real People (pub. date August 17, 2015) is a medley of vignettes—some about his life, most about important moments in modern American history—told from his vantage points as a congressman, diplomat and right-hand man to one ambassador, an Attorney General and a President of the United States.


-Click here for Symington's full biography-


In personal stories from his great-great-grandfather (who served Abraham Lincoln) to his time as Robert Kennedy’s assistant in the Cuban Missile Crisis, to President Obama’s recent Cuba initiative, Symington shares his unique perspective. In observations by both himself and many distinguished people, he offers readers entrée into the private conversations, events and decisions that defined public policy, and our lives.  


HEARD AND OVERHEARD is a treasure for fans of politics and students of history, filled with insights, intimate glimpses and often hilarious observations. It is illustrated with forty black and white photographs, some published for the first time. HEARD AND OVERHEARD resonates in the voices of men (and women, such as his friend from college days, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis) who shaped the America we know.


James W. Symington was administrative assistant to Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy and director of the President’s Committee on Juvenile Delinquency. In 1968, he was named Chief of Protocol by President Johnson.  He served four terms in Congress and later co-founded the law firm Smathers, Symington & Herlong.  He and his wife Sylvia, parents of two grown children and grandparents of five, live in Washington, D.C., and Middleburg, Virginia. Full bio.


HEARD AND OVERHEARD is published jointly by

Posterity Press Inc. and New Academia Publishing

Posterity Press Inc., an independent publisher founded in 1995, creates eclectic books of enduring value in excellent editions. Each title's unique design reflects its content to enhance the reader’s experience. PPI has won graphics awards and history prizes for such volumes as the maritime history Off Soundings, the Civil War novel. Meade’s Reprise, and the poetry gem Holy Week Sonnets.  


For more information, please visit


New Academia Publishing, a prize-winning academic and trade press, uses 21st-century technology to bring peer-reviewed scholarly books of intellectual quality to broad audiences. It also publishes books on international affairs, diplomacy and other topics of general interest, as well as fiction.


For more information, please visit



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, price t/k, 286 pages, History

PB ISBN 978-0-9864353-3-1, price t/k, 286 pages, History

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