Monday, January 19, 2009

Of Books and Leadership

I recall a post not that long ago by Jen at Jen's Book Thoughts which mentioned Obama's ardent book reading. Now, this article from the N.Y. Times detailing the scope of those readings. From fiction and poetry, to history and philosophy. It is very clear, as the writer cites biographer Fred Kaplan in comparing the two: like Mr. Obama, Lincoln "was a lifelong lover of books, indelibly shaped by his reading — most notably, in his case, the Bible and Shakespeare — which honed his poetic sense of language and his philosophical view of the world."

I find Obama's breadth in reading material very comforting. If it's any reflection upon the man, that capacity for learning, appreciation of knowledge, and self-examination (something his lame predecessor lacked in droves) offers us a sea change in leadership during a time we need it the most. We have not seen the bottom of this crisis yet--not in financial terms, nor do we know the extent of the damage in eight years of corrupt governance. When all of these are revealed, we're going to need the same calm direction and the skill Lincoln used to "galvanize a nation reeling from hard times with a new vision of reconciliation and hope."


  1. And not only do I find comfort in the depth and scope of his reading, but also in the fact that he encourages adults to 'turn off the tv, read to your children.' If I'd had any doubts about Obama before that ad aired (and I didn't), that one statement would have been a great persuader. I hope he says it more often.

    And coincidentally, the word verification for this comment is 'readq.'

  2. I concur with Corey. There are so many attributes to admire about our future president, but his stance on reading, education and the role of parents in the lives of their children is the most admirable to me. And his children are a wonderful example. They are thoughtful, smart...and on their way to being great citizens of this country. I look so forward to Obama taking the reins of this country. I'm not sure if he can correct all the damage that's been done - especially in just 8 years. But if anyone can get the ball running, I'm confident it's him!

    Very proud to be an American today! :)

  3. It's amazing today. This is certainly one of those days in history where you were and what you were doing will be indelibly sealed in one's memory. Glorious.