Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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November 25, 2003
By: Kevin Drum

A FEW OF HIS FAVORITE THINGS....Bill Clinton has been catching a bit of flak for his list of 21 favorite books. Here they are:

"I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings," Maya Angelou
"Meditations," Marcus Aurelius
"The Denial of Death," Ernest Becker
"Parting the Waters: America in the King Years 1954-1963," Taylor Branch
"Living History," Hillary Rodham Clinton
"Lincoln," David Herbert Donald
"The Four Quartets," T.S. Eliot
"Invisible Man," Ralph Ellison
"The Way of the World: From the Dawn of Civilizations to the Eve of the Twenty-First Century," David Fromkin
"One Hundred Years of Solitude," Gabriel Garcia Marquez
"The Cure at Troy: A Version of Sophocles' Philoctetes," Seamus Heaney
"King Leopold's Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror and Heroism in Colonial Africa," Adam Hochschild
"The Imitation of Christ," Thomas a Kempis
"Homage to Catalonia," George Orwell
"The Evolution of Civilizations: An Introduction to Historical Analysis," Carroll Quigley
"Moral Man and Immoral Society: A Study in Ethics and Politics," Reinhold Niebuhr
"The Confessions of Nat Turner," William Styron
"Politics as a Vocation," Max Weber
"You Can't Go Home Again," Thomas Wolfe
"Nonzero: The Logic of Human Destiny," Robert Wright
"The Collected Poems of W.B. Yeats," William Butler Yeats

Now, I don't blame him for including his spouse's book I hope Marian would display the same loyalty to me if someone asked for a list of her 21 favorite websites but I have to admit that this list does look a mite calculated, doesn't it?

It doesn't reflect very well on me, either. Out of the entire list, not one is a favorite of mine. In fact, I've only even read one of these books because it was assigned in class.

The worst part, though, is that I've never even heard of 11 of these books, and that's even giving myself credit for the Yeats, which I've technically never heard of but certainly assumed existed. (And no, I don't intend to reveal the extent of my ignorance by listing the ones I haven't heard of.)

So do you think these are really the books Bill would take to a desert island? Personally, I'd probably prefer the collected Doonesbury.

And I'm sure it goes without saying that the entire point of this post is to allow people to make jokes in comments about W's favorites, so have at it.

Kevin Drum 11:06 AM Permalink | Trackbacks

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