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A Promised Land

  by Barack Obama

(about 1,161 pages)
total words
of all the books in our library
of all the books in our library
passive voice
of all the books in our library
all adverbs
of all the books in our library
of all the books in our library
of all the books in our library

clippings from this book

We’ve analyzed hundreds of millions of words, from thousands of different authors, training our linguistic models to recognize the most vivid words in the English language… the words that create the most intense sensory experiences: colors, textures, sounds, flavors, and aromas.

Based on our analysis, we’ve scanned through the pages of this book to find the two pages at the extremes, both the most-passive and the most-vivid pages, so that you can compare them side-by-side and see the difference:

well. We’d be on the road constantly. The press would be merciless in its scrutiny—“a nonstop colonoscopy” I believe Gibbs called it. I’d see very little of Michelle or the kids for a year at least—two years if we were lucky enough to win the primary. “I’ll be honest, Barack,” Axe told me after one meeting. “The process can be exhilarating, but it’s mostly misery. It’s like a stress test, an EKG on the soul. And for all your talent, I don’t know how you’ll respond. Neither do you. The whole thing is so crazy, so undignified and brutal, that you have to be a little pathological to do what it takes to win. And I just don’t know if you’ve got that hunger in you. I don’t think you’ll be unhappy if you never become president.” “That’s true,” I said. “I know it is,” Axe said. “And as a person, that’s a strength. But for a candidate, it’s a weakness. You may be a little too normal, too well-adjusted, to run for president. And though the political consultant in me thinks it would be a thrill to see you do this, the part of me that’s your friend kind of hopes you don’t.” Michelle, meanwhile, was also sorting out her feelings. She listened quietly during meetings, occasionally asking questions about the campaign calendar, what would be expected of her, and what it might mean for the girls. Gradually her resistance to the idea of me running had a gesture or a nod, each of them focused on his individual task but all of them moving with synchronized grace. One of the oldest was Ed Thomas, a tall, wiry Black man with sunken cheeks who had worked at the White House for forty years. The first time I met him, he reached into his back pocket for a cloth to wipe off the dirt before shaking my hand. His hand, thick with veins and knots like the roots of a tree, engulfed mine. I asked how much longer he intended to stay at the White House before taking his retirement. “I don’t know, Mr. President,” he said. “I like to work. Getting a little hard on the joints. But I reckon I might stay long as you’re here. Make sure the garden looks good.” Oh, how good that garden looked! The shady magnolias rising high at each corner; the hedges, thick and rich green; the crab apple trees pruned just so. And the flowers, cultivated in greenhouses a few miles away, providing a constant explosion of colorreds and yellows and pinks and purples; in spring, the tulips massed in bunches, their heads tilted toward the sun; in summer, lavender heliotrope and geraniums and lilies; in fall, chrysanthemums and daisies and wildflowers. And always a few roses, red mostly but sometimes yellow or white, each one flush in its bloom. Each time I walked down the colonnade or looked out the window of the Oval Office, I saw

emotional story arc

Click anywhere on the chart to see the most significant emotional words — both positive & negative — from the corresponding section of the text…
This chart visualizes the the shifting emotional balance for the arc of this story, based on the emotional strength of the words in the prose, using techniques pioneered by the UVM Computational Story Lab. To create this story arc, we divided the complete manuscript text into 50 equal-sized chunks, each with 5807.18 words, and then we scored each section by counting the number of strongly-emotional words, both positive and negative. The bars in the chart move downward whenever there’s conflict and sadness, and they move upward when conflicts are resolved, or when the characters are happy and content. The size of each bar represents the positive or negative word-count of that section.

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