Monday, February 15, 2010

Presidents + Books = ?

Roosevelt wrote eighteen books in his lifetime. Jimbo Carter penned quite a few works of non-fiction, a collection of poetry, and even a few novels. George W. Bush is currently hammering out his memoirs on an underwood five typewriter (presumably). Clinton, Ulysses Grant, Reagan, Eisenhower, and Obama are just a few of the other First Dudes to have written autobiographies. Lincoln wrote his own speeches and was considered by many talented enough to have been a successful author. William Taft curated a killer vegan recipe anthology and William Henry Harrison, well, lets just say he didn't get very far into his romantic novel.

Aside from Lincoln and Roosevelt, it's interesting how very few presidents have used books to create a sense of transparency during their terms. Even in my lifetime (i'm 31), where seemingly anyone with the means to do so can get anything published at any time, quickly, we get a lot of before and after books but nothing DURING. Kennedy's Profiles In Courage was published five years before he was elected... Obama's books were conceived while still in the "getting to know you" stage with voters... Et al. Why is this? Is it a national security issue? Is it political strategy? How come the White House doesn't have its own publishing house? There could be a Chief of Literature Affairs, or Secretary of Books. In this age of sifted-through information and cable news, it would be great to have something straight from the source for once. Something I can read and quote from that isn't a blog post or a tweet. Granted I know being a president is a rather time consuming gig but I could really use a book that explains this whole health care situation.

Enjoy the last few hours of your long weekend everybody! We're open regular hours tonight! Stop by and buy a book. It doesn't have to be about a president.

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