If you plan to run for president, they say, write a book. Nikki Haley has written three.
The first book, “Can’t Is Not an Option” (Sentinel, 2012), captures her upbringing in Bamberg, S.C., as one of four children in the only Indian American family in town. It also traces her ascent into politics, from a little-known state lawmaker to the first woman and first person of color to serve as South Carolina’s governor.
She published her second, “With All Due Respect” (St. Martin’s Press), in 2019 after she left her post as ambassador to the United Nations in President Donald J. Trump’s administration. The 272-page memoir, released in a media blitz in which she echoed White House talking points against Mr. Trump’s first impeachment and defended his character, follows her transformation from governor to diplomat. And her 2022 collection of essays, “If You Want Something Done” (St. Martin’s Press), whose title comes from a Margaret Thatcher line she has deployed on the national debate stage, details the lives of pioneering women.
Like all memoirs, Ms. Haley’s books tell a carefully curated story, skipping over controversies that would cast her in a less positive light. Here are a few things we learned from them.
Her Indian-born parents were reared in comfort.
Ms. Haley often says that she was born and raised in a rural town of 2,500 people and two stoplights, but she says little on the campaign trail about her heritage.