Social. Political. Economic. Career| Seyed Ibrahim

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Obama and Books

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Obama with Fareed Zakaria book

US President Barack Obama carrying Fareed Zakaria’s “The Post-American World” book. The other favorite books he has read include

  • The Bible
  • “Parting the Waters,” Taylor Branch
  • “Self-Reliance,” Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Gandhi’s autobiography
  • “Team of Rivals,” Doris Kearns Goodwin (Abraham Lincoln’s decision to include former opponents in his cabinet)
  • “The Golden Notebook,” Doris Lessing
  • Lincoln’s collected writings
  • “Moby-Dick,” Herman Melville
  • “Song of Solomon,” Toni Morrison
  • Works of Reinhold Niebuhr (which emphasize the ambivalent nature of human beings and the dangers of willful innocence and infallibility)
  • “Gilead,” Marilynne Robinson
  • Malcolm X’s autobiography
  • Shakespeare’s tragedies

    His predecessor, George W. Bush, has read 95 books in 2006, while his advisor Karl Rove read 110 books in 2006. (In just one year). Like them or hate them, they are good readers despite running the country. And, we complain “We are too busy to read books”. BTW, Barack Obama has also written books: This is my count. I dont know if he has written more books. But, keep in mind that he was the President of Harvard Law Review (a Journal).


    1. Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance
    2. The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream
    3. Change We Can Believe In: Barack Obama’s Plan to Renew America’s Promise
    4. Barack Obama in His Own Words

    If you are wondering, how come George Bush committed so many crimes (Economy, Regulation, Environment, Iraq, Afghanistan, getting-orders-from-Israel…), despite reading a lot, the probable answers are

    1) he read wrong books

    2) he listened to neoconservative blockheads

    3) he was and still IS arrogant


    Written by S Ibrahim

    Jan 20, 2009 at 1:40 pm

    One Response

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    1. And, we complain “We are too busy to read books.”
      I hear you.

      Reading is input. Writing is output. No input, no output. I have still yet to figure out how anyone can write well without reading the thoughts and emulating the writing of master authors.

      Thanks, also, for your book recommendations. I’ll look into Obama’s favorites.


      Jan 20, 2009 at 7:05 pm

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