ElectionsInfo.net     An Internet archive of election results and analysis

ElectionsInfo

United States

International

Search

   For Obama and past presidents, the books they read shape policies and perceptions

NEWS INFORMATION

Parent

Parent

News Date

4/16/2010 11:00 am

Author

Tevi Troy

Media

Washington Post

Category

Perspective

Database Record

Entered 4/16/2010, Updated 4/16/2010

Original Article

Link

Description

As the battle over health-care reform crescendoed last month, President Obama let slip that he was still making time for some side reading. "We've been talking about health care for nearly a century," the president told a crowd at Arcadia University in Pennsylvania. "I'm reading a biography of Teddy Roosevelt right now. He was talking about it." One of the reasons the country's intellectual class has taken so gleefully to Obama is precisely that, in addition to writing bestsellers, the man is clearly a dedicated reader. During his presidential campaign, he was photographed toting around Fareed Zakaria's "The Post-American World," the it-book of the foreign policy establishment at the time. A year ago, in an interview about economic policy, he told a reporter that he was reading Joseph O'Neill's post-Sept. 11 novel "Netherland," which had recently won the 2009 PEN/Faulkner Award. In a historical sense, Obama follows a long line of dedicated presidential readers, paging all the way back to the founders. John Adams's library had over 3,000 volumes -- including Cicero, Plutarch and Thucydides -- heavily inscribed with the president's marginalia. Thomas Jefferson's massive book collection launched him into debt and later became the backbone for the Library of Congress. "I cannot live without books," he confessed to Adams. And it's likely that no president will ever match the Rough Rider himself, who charged through multiple books in a single day and wrote more than a dozen well-regarded works, on topics ranging from the War of 1812 to the American West.


NEWS OF NEWS

Date

Category

Headline


DISCUSSION

All information on this site is © ElectionsInfo.net and should not be used without attribution.