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Obama's Reading List, Revised


We've been tracking, and speculating on, Barack Obama's reading on a regular basis here (e.g., Fareed Zakaria, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Fred Kaplan, and JFK), and from various press reports (and his Facebook page), we've cobbled together a list of books he's mentioned reading, and in most cases admiring, in different places, for our Inauguration 2009 store.

Today in the Times, Michiko Kakutani has put her own list together, along with a little analysis of Obama as a writer and a reader ("Mr. Obama tends to take a magpie approach to reading — ruminating upon writers’ ideas and picking and choosing those that flesh out his vision of the world or open promising new avenues of inquiry."), so I thought I'd put a reading list together here in one place, based on her research and mine, to kick off inauguration week:





Essays and Autobiography:

Current Events:


More to come for Inauguration week, including a new interview on Lincoln and Obama (and FDR and Darwin) with one of the authors listed above, Doris Kearns Goodwin. --Tom

P.S. Our friends at Shelfari have built their own Obama bookshelf, based in part on this article at Abebooks. Many books there that neither we nor the Times had, so I've filled in the list above.


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"Jeez, I have a more robust reading list from my undergrad days at UC Irvine. This guy is a Harvard grad? "

Liz, this is a *suggested* reading list only, not a list of books the President has actually read. As far as we know, the only books that Obama has read are the two he himself wrote (and observation could lead one to think that the list is inclusive).

President Bush (the one who was intellectually incurious) actually published his own rather voracious reading lists - Obama, the Most Transparent President in History (cough cough), never has.

Road to Serfdom by Hayek

Atlas Shrugged by Rand

He won't ever read either one and will shove things down the American people's throats because he thinks he is smarter than we are. He isn't. In fact he is at the précise intersection of arrogance and ignorance.

I am recommending as Presidential reading the following: The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Hamid and Man Gone Down by Michael Thomas

Jeez, I have a more robust reading list from my undergrad days at UC Irvine. This guy is a Harvard grad?

Shakespeare and Smith are encouraging. Hayek would be good. Alas, reading Gibbon would be wise.

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