The True Meaning of Obama's Reading List

Prez hunkers down with thrillers, Friedman
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 25, 2009 11:27 AM CDT
The cover of Thomas Friedman's "Hot, Flat, and Crowded."
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – President Obama is on vacation, and that means it’s the media’s sacred duty to overanalyze his summer reading plans. John Dickerson of Slate delves into the meaning behind what Obama’s packing:

  • The Way Home by George Pelecanos
  • Lush Life by Richard Price
  • Hot Flat and Crowded by Thomas Friedman
  • John Adams by David McCullough
  • Plainsong by Kent Haruf
That’s a pretty uncontroversial list, but obviously not a poll-tested one. For one thing, every single author is a white man.

The president must be a fan of The Wire, because both Pelecanos and Price wrote for that show. John Adams “seems like the kind of thing presidents get with the job,” writes Dickerson, who doubts Obama will get through Friedman’s book. “There’s no book on his list more like his evening briefing books.” Besides, that’s a total of 2,400 pages of reading—so something has to give.