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United States President’s Desk

In a speech at Arcadia University in Pennsylvania, Obama said: “We’ve been talking about health care reform for nearly a century. I’m reading Roosevelt’s biography, and he talks about it.
  ” One reason for the recognition of intellectuals is that, in addition to writing bestsellers, he is clearly a loyal reader. During Obama’s presidential campaign, he was pictured carrying Farid Zakaria’s book “The Post-American World”, a book on foreign policy construction at the time popular book. A year ago, in an interview on economic policy, Obama told reporters that he was reading the post-9/11 novel Holland by American author Joseph O’Neill, which had just won the 2009 PEN International Awards. Kerner Award.
  From a historical point of view, there are many American presidents who love reading like Obama. For example, John Adams (1735-1826) had a collection of more than 3,000 volumes, including Cicero (a famous Roman statesman and philosopher), Plutarch (a biographer of the Roman Empire) and Thucydides (ancient Roman statesman and philosopher). Greek historian), which is densely annotated by Adam Smith. Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826) was heavily in debt due to his extensive collection of books, which later became treasures in the Library of Congress. Jefferson once said to Adam: “I can’t live without books.” In terms of reading, perhaps no American president can compare with Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919), he once read several books a day, He has authored more than a dozen critically acclaimed articles on topics including the War of 1812, the American West, and more.
  The Roosevelt biography mentioned above by Obama. A reference to The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt, written by renowned American biographer Edmund Morris—perhaps intended to convey a Roosevelt-esque spirit of willpower and reform, but it also illustrates an interesting Phenomenon: Reading not only allows presidents to rehabilitate their tedious documentation and reports, but also inspires their maneuvers and policies to create, reinforce, or change their political views. White House observers like to study which aide’s words work for the president, but what each president likes to read can also give some insight into how they govern — and how history will remember them.
  
  President Truman
  
  Harry Truman was by far the last U.S. president to not finish college, but he was a voracious reader, especially interested in history and biography. He once said, “The only thing new in this world is history that you don’t know.”
  Truman supported the establishment of the State of Israel despite the objections of his own State Department, because of the book he read as a child, “The The Bible (which he read a dozen times) and the multi-volume history book Great Men and Famous Women edited by Charles Horne. In one volume of the history book, the Persian emperor Cyrus the Great sent the Jews back to Jerusalem and rebuilt his temple. Not long after Truman left the White House, he met with a group of Jewish leaders and was introduced to him as “helping to found” the state of Israel. Truman angrily asked back, “What is ‘help to build’? I am Cyrus.”
  
  President Kennedy Books played a particularly important role during
  
  John F. Kennedy’s time in the White House. Kennedy’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book “Do My Part” (possibly ghostwritten by speechwriter Ted Sorenson) bolstered his reputation as a thinker, and the White House’s permanent think tank, Arthur Shley Not only did Singer recommend books to Kennedy, but he also wrote and published “A Thousand Days” after the president’s death, describing the pomp of the “Kennedy Dynasty.”
  But it was a book review, not a book, that drove an important policy move in the United States in the 1960s. Walter Heller, chairman of President Kennedy’s Council of Economic Advisers at the time, reported to the president a 130,000-word book review article by Dwight MacDonald, published in The New Yorker, about Michael Harrington Warrington’s book on poverty in America, The Other America. Influenced by the book review (while feeling vulnerable to the left after pushing for sweeping tax cuts), Kennedy asked staff to look into tackling poverty. They drew up a plan to “eliminate poverty,” which Heller discussed with Kennedy just days before he traveled to Dallas and was assassinated in November 1963.
  Kennedy’s successor Lyndon Johnson, influenced by British economist Barbara Ward’s book “Rich and Poor Nations,” turned the move into a “war on poverty,” which Johnson claimed to have made. Read the book many times.
  
  President Nixon
  
  Richard Nixon once said in his memoirs that he read widely the works of the famous Russian writer Tolstoy when he was young, and even called himself a “Tolstoy fan”. Nixon often picked books on current affairs. For example, after talks with Soviet leaders, he bought 7–Ben Winston Churchill’s “Glory and Tragedy” to relive Churchill’s memories of the Yalta Conference. Entering his second term, Nixon read Robert Black’s biography of British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, and was impressed by Disraeli’s description of William Gladstone’s cabinet as “a volcano about to go out.” Inspired by the quote, he called for the resignation of his own White House staff and cabinet, which he later admitted was a mistake.
  In his farewell speech to the staff on August 9, 1974, Nixon said something too modest: “I have no education, but I read a lot.”
  
  President Kajing
  
  Yet the opposite of reading happened to President Jimmy Carter. In the summer of 1979, with the economic downturn and the Iran hostage crisis in jeopardy, Carter delivered his infamous speech declaring that the United States was experiencing a “crisis of confidence.” The speech was called “uncomfortable” and was widely seen as a major political mistake. The speech was written largely by presidential adviser Pat Caddell and was influenced by Christopher Rasch’s bestselling book, “The Culture of Narcissism.” Six weeks before Carter’s speech, Rashi was at the White House dinner, and his ideas apparently stayed at the White House. On July 15, two days after Carter’s speech, Carter fired several cabinet members in precarious circumstances.
  It’s not clear if Carter actually read Rashi’s books, but Carter did read quite a few books. In February 1977, he took a speed reading class with his nine-year-old daughter Amy. The skills he learned from the speed-reading classes are said to have enabled him to read two books a week during his tenure and three or four a week after he left office. He also wrote 24 books, the most of any U.S. president to date.
  
  President
  
  Ronald Reagan Though called a “lovable fool” by longtime White House adviser Clark Clifford, he enjoyed reading, including Edmund Morris’ biography of Theodore Roosevelt. In fact, Reagan was so fond of Morris’s work that he was chosen to write his official biography. Morris’s “The Dutchman: A Biography of Reagan,” written in a quirky semi-fiction, was published in 1999. Reagan, the first president to profess a fondness for the writings of conservative intellectuals, promoted himself by citing Milton Friedman’s “Free Choice” and George Gilder’s “Wealth and Poverty” economic policy plan. Larissa McFarquhar of The New Yorker once wrote that Gilder’s book was one of Reagan’s favorites, and that Gilder was “Reagan’s most frequently cited living author.”
  
  President Clinton
  
  Bill Clinton not only read a lot, but also read widely. His favorite authors include Maya Angelou, Ralph Ellison and Tyler Branch. Clinton was well aware that a book the president had read would attract attention in the media and intellectual circles. Clinton once deliberately placed Yale law professor Stephen Carter’s book “The Culture of Doubt” on the Oval Office table so that The reporter would find out what book he was reading and report it faithfully. Stephen Carter was one of the few people handpicked to recommend books to Clinton, Secretary of Labor Robert Reich, Vice President Al Gore and Deputy Secretary of State Strob Talbo Te was also able to recommend books to Clinton.
  The books Clinton read influenced the way the US handled the Balkan crisis in the early 1990s. At the time, President Clinton read Robert Kaplan’s “The Ghosts of the Balkans” and was impressed by the description and influenced his decision-making attitude. Panicked Defense Secretary Les Aspin told National Security Adviser Anthony Lake that Clinton “didn’t approve” of their proposal. Years later, journalist Laura Rosen wrote: “When some people hear Robert Kaplan’s name, they accuse him of delaying American intervention.”   President
  
George W. Bush
  
Compared to Laura, the librarian’s wife, he may only be second at home, but he really likes to read and counts how many books he has read. During Bush’s second term, a casual comment by adviser Karl Rove sparked a contest between the two of them: who reads the most books in a year. Although the books Bush and Rove read are rich in content, they are mainly historical (such as “History of the English Nation since 190.”), cultural (such as “Nine Parts of Desire”) and biographies (such as “Biography of Mao Zedong”) ), but when the book contest was made public, it still drew ridicule from the public.
  A Washington Post columnist by the name of Richard Cohen wrote: “The caricatures depicting President Bush’s lack of culture are now gone, but the reality that knowledge is insulated from Bush has not changed.” Upon learning that Bush had read French There was an uproar in the news media when author Albert Camus’ “The Outsider.” Someone joked: “Bush reads the works of French existential writers like Obama reads the catalogue of the Cabela store.”
  Bush is well aware of these sarcasms. He once said to people that he liked Juan Williams’ book about the hardships of black Americans, “Enough,” but tried to keep it out of the public eye so as not to undermine the potential impact the book could have on policy debates. influences.
  Although widely ridiculed, the books Bush has read do reflect his worldview and policy thinking. The famous New York Times book critic Michiko Kakutani found that Bush likes to read “books that offer solutions,” such as Natan Sharansky’s “Democracy” and Elliott Cohen’s “Supreme Commander.” Bush often meets with book authors who resonate with him. Shortly after his re-election, he had an hour-long meeting with Shalansky in the Oval Office. In his second-term inaugural address, Bush proposed a plan for global freedom, perhaps inspired in part by Sharansky.
  
  President Obama
  
  Finally a word about Obama. As an author, Obama’s autobiography helped him rise from obscurity to national celebrity. As a reader, Doris Kearns Goodwin (American historian and news critic), who read the book “Rival Team” by Doris Kearns Goodwin (American historian and news critic), described Lincoln’s cabinet, and was used by the media as a metaphor for his cabinet formation process. , especially after he chose Hillary Clinton as secretary of state.
  Obama also imitated Franklin Roosevelt’s first 100 days in the White House in the early days of his administration, and Roosevelt was regarded as a model for the US government to deal with the economic crisis in the early days of his administration. Obama’s first interview after his campaign was on “60 Minutes,” where he said he read “a new book about Roosevelt’s first 100 days in office” (a spokesman later clarified that the president-elect was referring to are two books, One Definitive Moment: Roosevelt’s Hundred Days and the Triumph of Hope by Jonathan Alter, and The Biography of Franklin Roosevelt by Jane Edward Smith). The approach paid off: many in the media began to compare Obama’s early years with Roosevelt’s first 100 days in office.
  Like John F. Kennedy and Bill Clinton, Obama seems keenly aware of the power of books on public opinion. The world may not be reading books, but it’s watching you all the time – if a book conveys the signal you want to convey, take it aboard Marine One (i.e. the US Presidential Helicopter) or It’s a passing mention of it in an interview, perhaps more effective than a policy speech.