November 18, 2008

Change indeed

During the Bush reign of error, books weren't exactly in favor, what with Bush reporting that his favorite book was "The Very Hungry Caterpillar", saying that he loved reading it as a kid - until it was shown that the book wasn't published until he was in his 20's. Well, he could still have been telling the truth, seeing as he's the biggest case of arrested development in U.S. history.

Literary Bush ain't, in spite of his wife's former status as a librarian and commendable efforts on behalf of adult literacy. (She apparently knew Bush was a lost cause.)

(Man! Kid's books ain't cheap. The price for Bush's favorite book (in hardcover) is around $3.40 a page! And the list price is nearly three times that.)

So it's been a novel situation (pun intended) to hear Doris Kearns Goodwin's book "Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln" being mentioned about every 5 minutes on cable shows for over a week. As a result it's shot to the top of the best-seller lists once again. Good for Doris. She deserves it.

The reason it's been the center of so much talk is that Obama has referred to it and Lincoln's example as something he'd like to emulate in his choice of cabinet members and other appointments.

The book of course, recounts Lincoln's choice of some of his most bitter political rivals, including those he'd just beaten in the presidential election and including some bitter opponents, to surround him in his cabinet, and how in hindsight, it was a brilliant move.

So apparently nothing can be said about the rampant speculation surrounding Obama's cabinet picks without mentioning Goodwin's "Team of Rivals".

I was glad to hear Obama mention the book months ago, as I bought and read the book a year and a half ago and even recommended it here a couple of times, first here where I recommended it before I'd read it myself, and including this post where I mention the fact that I was able to finish it due to a forced absence from my computer and any connection to the inter-tubes. (Sometimes it's good to get away from the infernal contraptions. A cyber fast if you will.)

As I said then, it's a very good book on a fascinating subject, and well written as are all of Goodwin's works. Even though it's a lengthy book, it reads well and it's almost a let down when you reach the end. I really enjoyed it at the time, and am glad to actually know what Obama is talking about, even if most of the pundits on the tube who constantly refer to it haven't even read it themselves.

So, the moral of the story is that steady readers of TID stay up to date, stay well informed, and find out the books they should be reading and are WAY ahead of the pundits.

Another book which Obama has said he's recently read is by a guy I've liked for a long time, Newsweek writer Jonathan Alter, who recently published his work on FDR, "The Defining Moment: FDR's Hundred Days and the Triumph of Hope"

One of the most important authors on the area of wealth and influence and the nature of true power in America is conservative thinker and author Kevin Phillips, and I'm glad that he's added another book to his many previous works which have been featured here in the past. His newest book is particularly relevant to today's financial meltdown. The title pretty much says it all, "Bad Money: Reckless Finance, Failed Politics, and the Global Crisis of American Capitalism".

Take a look at the books mentioned above which I've included in the links in the sidebar to the right. I invite you to take a look at them and pick some up if you wish.

Another recent book is called, "The Collected Wisdom of Sarah Palin". It consists entirely of blank pages. (I'm kinda partial to this tee-shirt too.)

Imagine. A literate president. Ahhhh. One that not only can read, but can speak in complete sentences and actually pronounces "nuclear" "nuclear". Yes, change is good.

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