Books have been at the center of Barack Obama’s ideas on personal growth and governance. A recent New York Times article describes some of the major novels and histories that have shaped his ideas. From Herman Melville to Toni Morrison, “Mr. Obama tends to take a magpie approach to reading â€” ruminating upon writersâ€™ ideas and picking and choosing those that flesh out his vision of the world or open promising new avenues of inquiry.” We are fortunate to have a world leader that can inspire and lead through ideas, education and personal growth.
“….itâ€™s been widely reported that â€œTeam of Rivals,â€ Doris Kearns Goodwinâ€™s book about Abraham Lincolnâ€™s decision to include former opponents in his cabinet, informed Mr. Obamaâ€™s decision to name his chief Democratic rival, Hillary Rodham Clinton, as Secretary of State. In other cases, books about F. D. R.â€™s first hundred days in office and Steve Collâ€™s â€œGhost Wars,â€œ about Afghanistan and the C.I.A., have provided useful background material on some of the myriad challenges Mr. Obama will face upon taking office.”
“…Lincoln, like Mr. Obama, was a lifelong lover of books, indelibly shaped by his reading â€” most notably, in his case, the Bible and Shakespeare â€” which honed his poetic sense of language and his philosophical view of the world. Both men employ a densely allusive prose, richly embedded with the fruit of their reading, and both use language as a tool by which to explore and define themselves.”
Source: From “Books, A New President Found His Voice”, New York Times