From Cicero to Snooki, the cultural influences on our American presidents are powerful and plentiful. Thomas Jefferson famously said "I cannot live without books," and his library backed up the claim, later becoming the backbone of the new Library of Congress. Jimmy Carter watched hundreds of movies in his White House, while Ronald Reagan starred in a few in his own time. Lincoln was a theater-goer, while Obama kicked back at home to a few episodes of HBO's "The Wire".
America is a country built by thinkers on a foundation of ideas. Alongside classic works of philosophy and ethics, however, our presidents have been influenced by the books, movies, TV shows, viral videos, and social media sensations of their day. In What Jefferson Read, Ike Watched, and Obama Tweeted: 200 Years of Popular Culturen in the White House presidential scholar and former White House aide Tevi Troy combines research with witty observation to tell the story of how our presidents have been shaped by popular culture.
©2013 Tevi Troy (P)2014 Tevi Troy
Never. I require that authors not have a hidden agenda when they lay out the facts. This book touts the exteme intelligence of George W Bush, the cleverness of Ronald Reagan, lists the plethorra of books they read during the White House...then describes President Obama as "reading for public effect"..and, when his advisors are asked about the current reading material, the authorstates that his reading is "played out before the adoring media." The rest of this section is used to downgrade Obama's intelligence and literacy. This, after years of listening to former presidents utter semi-intelligent responses to questions, while the current president was an editor of the Harvard Law Review. I listened to nasty comments on virtually all of Obama's policies..and wondered who paid for the writing of this book.
I am offended that the author portrays Pres. Obama as simply a fabrication of the pop media....especially in light of how earlier presidents are treated...particularly the Republicans. This author even attacks the fund raising in the last elections, but not in any previous ones. He apparently forgot the brouhaha surrounding the funds spent in the Reagan White House. Obama's attraction to celebrities is criticized.....but not Ronald and Nancy Reagan"s. This is a political diatribe....against an outsider and a black man as well. Shame.
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