Monday, March 21, 2005

People interested in the reading habits of the US presidents will like this piece from the Weekly Standard. ( Folk who think Bush is an idiot might look at this paragraph:

Married to a former librarian, Bush likes short speeches and, judging from a recent reading list (Ron Chernow's Alexander Hamilton, Joseph J. Ellis's His Excellency: George Washington), lengthy books. Early in its first term the Bush White House established an authors lecture series, which enabled the president to pick the brains of David McCullough, Edmund Morris, Martin Gilbert, Bernard Lewis, and Robert Kaplan, among others. Bush has publicly acknowledged his debt to Natan Sharansky's The Case for Democracy, which distinguishes between "free" and "fear" societies, and exalts Ronald Reagan's moral confrontation with Soviet tyranny. A recent New York Times story described his admiration for Alexis de Tocqueville's Democracy in America.

Bush's reading list looks a lot like mine, actually. Or Murph's, if I can ever talk him into reading one of the McCullough books I have. Except I don't actually think Tocqueville was particularly accurate, for want of a better word. Elegant in the mathematical sense, maybe. You can read just about anything you want to into him, sort of like Nostradamus. Or the Bible, for that matter. Or even the Constitution, if you try hard enough.

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