Obama, by the book
Start your own presidential library with books Barack has been reading.
Maybe it’s because he’s the first President to enter the White House with two best-selling books and two spoken-word Grammys for his audiobooks. Or maybe it’s because the last time W declared he was reading a book, he namechecked The Stranger, which some found to be ill-timed, given the book is about murdering an Arab without provocation. Regardless, bookish types the world over want to know what Obama is reading, so here’s a survey of what he’s quoted or been seen with of late, so you can read along with the Obama book club.
• In May 2008, he was spotted reading Fareed Zakaria’s The Post-American World (Norton, $25.95)—a book about the “rise of the rest” of the world’s superpowers—which helped stir up the “he’s anti-American” hooey.
• Doris Kearns Goodwin could buy a house with the number of Team of Rivals (Penguin, $21) copies she’s sold thanks to Barack. The book, which looks at how Lincoln took opponents into his cabinet, has been cited by Obama and every other living person as a major influence on his cabinet assembly.
• On a 60 Minutes spot after his win, Obama mentioned reading about FDR—later confirmed as The Defining Moment: FDR’s Hundred Days and the Triumph of Hope by Jonathan Alter (Simon & Schuster, $16) and FDR by Jean Edward Smith (Random House, $20).
• Recently, in Chicago, a photo of Obama showed him reading Fred Kaplan’s new Lincoln: The Biography of a Writer (Harper, $27.95).