Thursday, August 24, 2006

A war president's reading list

Interesting piece in the New Yorker by Adam Gopnik on President Bush’s summer reading list, which as already noted on this blog includes The Outsider by Albert Camus. Bush is also apparently reading Kai Bird and Martin Sherwin’s book about Robert Oppenheimer and the atomic bomb plus and Richard Carwardine’s biography of Abraham Lincoln. Gopnik expresses the hope that Bush, a war president, will be changed by reading books that cover the subject of impulse violence (Camus), the birth of atomic destruction (Oppenheimer) and the life of another war president (Lincoln). Let’s hope he is right and when it comes to thinking about his plans for Iran Bush remembers some of the lessons learnt reading at his ranch this summer. On the other hand Tony Blair, The British Prime Minister, has been seen reading thriller Break no Bones by Kathy Reichs, which is about archaeology students who find a corpse on a beach. Unless Blair is researching methods of getting rid of his political enemies its hard to see what lasting impression his holiday reading will provide.

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