Many people who we know as confident public personalities were stutterer at one point in their life.

We all stammer sometimes, but a chronic stutter is more a physical problem, of breathing and muscle control, than a mental one—though exhaustion or anxiety can exacerbate it. Different ways of coping worked for different stutterers: Marilyn Monroe’s breathy on-screen voice, Churchill’s privately singing his speeches to practice them, and King George’s therapy sessions with Lionel Logue (the story told in the 2010 film The King’s Speech). McDermott concludes this brief book with “Twelve lessons for stutterers (and the rest of us),” drawing on all his subjects for the counsel he offers.

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Matthew J. Frank — First Things

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