Matthew Dallek over at Politico has drawn up a suggested reading list for Barack Obama, our incoming President of Hope ™, who has not been seen carrying any books around, but apparently actually reads books about American history and absorbs them and references them in conversation(!).
Obama will be that rare modern president who thinks deeply about the historical currents and antecedents that can help him as he prepares to lead Americans amid two wars overseas and an economic crisis at home. But in addition to studying Lincoln and FDR, he and his senior staff should read at least five additional history books during the relative lull of the transition period. These five will help the president-elect situate himself in his new role and think more deeply at a historical level about the opportunities and perils he will confront come January.
We couldn’t agree more with Dallek’s recommendation of Patricia Sullivan’s book Days of Hope: Race and Democracy in the New Deal Era. Dallek says, “Days of Hope gives context to Obama’s hopes for a progressive reawakening and showcases some of the obstacles Obama will face in building a lasting progressive political coalition.”