๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ Barack Obamaโ€™s Summer Reading List 2018

reading list 2018

Do what you feel in your heart to be right – for you’ll be criticized anyways. ~ย Eleanor Roosevelt

Barack Obamaโ€™s 2018 Summer Reading Listย 

Iโ€™m often asked what Iโ€™m reading, watching, and listening to, so I thought I might share a short list from time to time. Thereโ€™s so much good writing and art and variety of thought out there these days that this is by no means comprehensive โ€“ like many of you, Iโ€™ll miss โ€œThe Americansโ€ โ€“ but hereโ€™s what Iโ€™ve been reading lately. Itโ€™s admittedly a slightly heavier list than what Iโ€™ll be reading over the summer:

Futureface:ย A Family Mystery, an Epic Quest, and the Secret to Belonging, by Alex Wagner
I once wrote a book on my own search for identity, so I was curious to see what Alex, daughter of a Burmese mother and Iowan Irish-Catholic father โ€“ and a friend of mine โ€“ discovered during her own. What she came up with is a thoughtful, beautiful meditation on what makes us who we are โ€“ the search for harmony between our own individual identities and the values and ideals that bind us together as Americans.

women15 cworkingThe New Geography of Jobs, by Enrico Moretti
Itโ€™s six years old now, but still a timely and smart discussion of how different cities and regions have made a changing economy work for them โ€“ and how policymakers can learn from that to lift the circumstances of working Americans everywhere.

Why Liberalism Failed, by Patrick Deneen
In a time of growing inequality, accelerating change, and increasing disillusionment with the liberal democratic order weโ€™ve known for the past few centuries, I found this book thought-provoking. I donโ€™t agree with most of the authorโ€™s conclusions, but the book offers cogent insights into the loss of meaning and community that many in the West feel, issues that liberal democracies ignore at their own peril.

โ€œThe 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy,โ€ by Matthew Stewart, The Atlantic
Another thought-provoking analysis, this one about how economic inequality in America isnโ€™t just growing, but self-reinforcing โ€“ and what that means for education, health, happiness, even the strength of our democracy.

In the Shadow of Statues: A White Southerner Confronts History, by Mitch Landrieu
A few years ago, I eulogized the Reverend Clementa Pinckney, who was slain by a white supremacist in his church in Charleston, South Carolina. And Iโ€™ll never forget something Clem said while he was alive: โ€œAcross the South, we have a deep appreciation of history. We havenโ€™t always had a deep appreciation of each otherโ€™s history.โ€ Thatโ€™s something Mitch takes to heart in this book, while grappling with some of the most painful parts of our history and how they still live in the present. Itโ€™s an ultimately optimistic take from someone who believes the South will rise again not by reasserting the past, but by transcending it.

โ€œTruth Decay: An Initial Exploration of the Diminishing Role of Facts and Analysis in American Public Life,โ€ by Jennifer Kavanagh and Michael D. Rich, RAND Corporation
The title is self-explanatory, but the findings are very interesting. A look at how a selective sorting of facts and evidence isnโ€™t just dishonest, but self-defeating to a society that has always worked best when reasoned debate and practical problem-solving thrive.

Article posted June 16, 2018 by Terry.K

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