Monday, December 29, 2008

President Bush Reads a Ton of Books

President Bush is a book lover. So reveals Karl Rove, his former deputy chief of staff in a Wall Street Journal article. In 2006 President Bush read 95 books, 51 in 2007 (1 a week), and this year around 40. (Ninety-five books!?)

How does he get so much reading done? Well, for one thing, he "reads instead of watching TV. He reads on Air Force One and to relax." The other reason? He simply loves to read; "he's curious. He reads about the tasks at hand, often picking volumes because of the relevance to his challenges."

Rove shows that Bush's reading interests are wide-ranging, including biographies of Lincoln, Carnegie, Mark Twain, Babe Ruth, King Leopold, William Jennings Bryan, Huey Long, LBJ, and Genghis Khan; also A History of the English Speaking Peoples Since 1900, Manhunt, and Mayflower as well as several novels by authors such as John D. MacDonald, Michael Crichton, Vince Flynn, and Albert Camus. Almost half of his reading in 2006 was history and biography, 8 were on current events, and 6 on sports. (See the article for a sampling of his '07 and '08 reading.)

Rove states: "There is a myth perpetuated by Bush critics that he would rather burn a book than read one. Like so many caricatures of the past eight years, this one is not only wrong, but also the opposite of the truth and evidence that bitterness can devour a small-minded critic. Mr. Bush loves books, learns from them, and is intellectually engaged by them."

The media has always portrayed President Bush as an intellectual lightweight. Lies! And his love of books is one piece of evidence that the media doesn't know what it's talking about.

Personal Note: I am so glad Rove wrote this article. One, because I am a book lover. Two, I have an incredible respect for President Bush, believing him to be a man of integrity and wisdom. Three, because I am so sick of him being portrayed as a simpleton. As Rove puts it, Bush "plays up being a good ol' boy from Midland, Texas, but he was a history major at Yale and graduated from Harvard Business School. You don't make it through either unless you are a reader."

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