View Full Version : What Obama Should Read

01-22-2009, 04:38 PM
Don't know if you guys have seen this, but The Washington Monthly has posted a list of reading recommendations (http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/features/2009/0901.obama.html) for our new President.

Some interesting choices there: so, does anybody else want to play? Any bh.tv luminaries want to make a few suggestions?

In order to understand the true character of the North Korean dynasty, I would recommend Bradley Smith's magisterial Under the Loving Care of the Fatherly Leader. I hope that Obama will keep human rights in mind when dealing with NK!

Barbara Ehrenreich's Nickeled and Dimed should help to remind Obama of the struggle of the 1 in 8 Americans who live in poverty.

And, no one should be without true literature: may I recommend the collected works of J.M. Coetzee?

01-22-2009, 05:38 PM
Don't know if you guys have seen this ...

Some of us have (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=101623#post101623).


01-22-2009, 10:50 PM
plagarism is the sincerest form of flattery . . .

01-22-2009, 11:51 PM
plagarism is the sincerest form of flattery . . .

No, no. I'm sure it's a case of great minds thinking alike.

01-23-2009, 03:34 PM
My strong recommendation: How Soccer Explains the World by Franklin Foer. It is first-rate foreign affairs journalism disguised as sports writing--and something I'm sure nobody close to President Bush ever read.

01-23-2009, 04:32 PM
Portnoy's Complaint (http://www.amazon.com/Portnoys-Complaint-Philip-Roth/dp/0679756450/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1232745609&sr=1-1) by Philip Roth (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philip_roth) had a huge influence on me when I read it. Of course, I was 14 years old and very horny. But if the POTUS has not read it yet, a great book. Probably will never eat liver again.

Roth and Saul Bellow (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saul_Bellow) did have a big influence on me. Reading them made me want to go to the University of Chicago. See the connection: horny - Portnoy's Complaint - University of Chicago. I grew up in a catholic cocoon - and was enthralled by two Jewish writers without even understanding what it meant to be Jewish in America.

There is a point to this post. People recommend books with which they agree - in hopes that the reader will also agree with that perspective. I just hope that Obama has time to read for enjoyment.

He may want to study up on architecture - there are already people in Chicago talking about the future home of the BHOPL&M (Barack Hussein Obama Presidential Library and Museum). It won't be in Hyde Park - no room. The University of Chicago has been buying up land outside of Hyde Park - along Garfield Boulevard (aka 55th Street), just east of the Dan Ryan Expressway. I wonder if they are already land banking?

uncle ebeneezer
01-23-2009, 07:39 PM
For policy/worldview: "Blowback" by Chalmers Johnson

For pure enjoyment: "A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again" by David Foster Wallace. Absolutely had me in stitches. And Mr. President (man, I love the sound of that) might really enjoy the essay on the IL State Fair.

01-24-2009, 06:26 AM
Interesting bjkeefe. I was especially struck by the recommendations of Jacques Barzun (age 101 I believe):

William James, The Will to Believe
George Santayana, Character and Opinion in the United States

Two masterpieces that everyone should read, even or especially if you are not a hundred years old.