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You mean they read?
June 3, 2008 1:01 PM   Subscribe

"I can only answer in the negative: I want them not to read The New York Times, while subscribing to The Financial Times." The New York Times book review asks various writers for their suggested required reading for each of the three presidential candidates.
posted by patricio (42 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
I want them not to read The New York Times, while subscribing to The Financial Times."

Oh, that Gore Vidal. Such a gadfly.
posted by dersins at 1:13 PM on June 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


I read the post title phonetically as "You mean they red?"

I assume this is correct.
posted by Mister_A at 1:20 PM on June 3, 2008 [6 favorites]


Oh if only McCain were forced to read The Forever War, if only.
posted by mek at 1:27 PM on June 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


How about they each read the others' autobiographies?
posted by Pastabagel at 1:34 PM on June 3, 2008


Any candidate who finds the time to read all of these between now and November should automatically lose the election.
posted by gurple at 1:37 PM on June 3, 2008


My Pet Goat, right side up this time?
posted by nevercalm at 1:37 PM on June 3, 2008


There are some good suggestions in there. I would suggest "Nation of Rebels" for either of the democratic candidates.
posted by drezdn at 1:38 PM on June 3, 2008


Those seem like mostly boring choices.

I would have recommended 9/11 Contradictions: An Open Letter to Congress and the Press by David Ray Griffin (as well as his other books), The Trillion Dollar Meltdown: Easy Money, High Rollers, and the Great Credit Crash by Charles R. Morris, Bad Money: Reckless Finance, Failed Politics, and the Global Crisis of American Capitalism by Kevin Phillips, The Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic by Chalmers Johnson, Triple Cross: How bin Laden's Master Spy Penetrated the CIA, the Green Berets, and the FBI--and Why Patrick Fitzgerald Failed to Stop Him by Peter Lance (as well as Lance's Cover Up: What the Government Is Still Hiding About the War on Terror, Secrets of the Temple: How the Federal Reserve Runs the Country by William Greider, The Road to 9/11: Wealth, Empire, and the Future of America by Peter Dale Scott (as well Scott's Deep Politics And The Death of JFK), Twilight in the Desert: The Coming Saudi Oil Shock and the World Economy by Matthew R. Simmons, The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy by John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt, Failed States: The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy by Noam Chomsky, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism by Naomi Klein, The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power by Jeff Sharlet, The War On Truth: 9/11, Disinformation And The Anatomy Of Terrorism by Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed, Blood, Money & Power: How L.B.J. Killed J.F.K. by Barr McClellan (Scottie's dad; may be BS, but worth a read), Imperial Designs: Neoconservatism and the New Pax Americana by Gary Dorrien, American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War On America by Chris Hedges
posted by ornate insect at 1:39 PM on June 3, 2008 [10 favorites]


I wish Hillary would read the goddamn writing on the wall.
posted by ND¢ at 1:41 PM on June 3, 2008 [37 favorites]


The Pet Goat. Not "My Pet Goat."
posted by lumensimus at 1:41 PM on June 3, 2008


I love the suggestions that Obama is such a cutesy-wootsy little whipper-snapper who needs to read The Prince(!!) and "The Rambler No. 196, on the illusions of young hope." Apparently 46 and Harvard-educated is the new 13-with-a-blogger-account?
posted by basicchannel at 1:45 PM on June 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


I read this the other day and thought it was crap. It was structured as, "show how witty you can be while sniping at the political candidates." It really had the potential to be better, by recommending books all the candidates should read, which would have been a much more interesting social commentary.
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 1:45 PM on June 3, 2008 [3 favorites]


I have one book each, all of which are imaginary, to suggest to each candidate. Additionally, I have one book, all too real, which I believe all of the candidates must read.

First, the individual recommendations:

McCain: Holy Shit, You're Fucking Nuts by You Better Fucking Believe It
Hillary: Nobody Likes You Because You're a Ruthless and Selfish Motherfucker by Seriously I'm Not Kidding
Obama: You Rock! by I Love You

The Group Recommendation:

All of the candidates must read How I Saved Humanity By Being So Awesome, A Story Set In The Battlestar Galactica Universe Starring shmegegge and Caprica 6 Who Are In Love, by Yours Truly.
posted by shmegegge at 1:48 PM on June 3, 2008 [20 favorites]


These authors should read more Vonnegut.
posted by basicchannel at 1:50 PM on June 3, 2008 [3 favorites]


Shmegegge/Airlock 2008
posted by cowbellemoo at 1:58 PM on June 3, 2008 [7 favorites]


One book for all three: The March of Folly by Barbara Tuchman.

Or frankly, anything by Ms. Tuchman. JFK specifically mentioned "The Guns of August" during the Cuban missile crisis.
posted by cptnrandy at 2:01 PM on June 3, 2008


Those seem like mostly boring choices.

I would have recommended....


If anything these Hysterical Alarmist Book Of The Month selections say is true, then all the candidates are already part of the Cabal.
posted by nasreddin at 2:02 PM on June 3, 2008


Apparently 46 and Harvard-educated is the new 13-with-a-blogger-account?
posted by basicchannel at 4:45 PM on June 3


First, it would suprise you just how many Harvard-educated people there are out there, especially if you include graduate schools. They aren't all qualified to be President. Second, he's only been Harvard-educated for 17 years. Hillary has been Yale-educated for twice as long.

By contrast, Steve Ballmer, who is only 5 years older than Barack, has been Harvard-educated for 31 years.

So yeah, it's fair to cast Obama as a bit of a neophyte.
posted by Pastabagel at 2:06 PM on June 3, 2008


Reed the Davinchi Code! itRoX!@
posted by mattbucher at 2:08 PM on June 3, 2008


McCain: Holy Shit, You're Fucking Nuts by You Better Fucking Believe It
Hillary: Nobody Likes You Because You're a Ruthless and Selfish Motherfucker by Seriously I'm Not Kidding
Obama: You Rock! by I Love You


Wow, that's exactly how many of these "recommendations" actually come across.
posted by pardonyou? at 2:22 PM on June 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


All of the candidates must read How I Saved Humanity By Being So Awesome, A Story Set In The Battlestar Galactica Universe Starring shmegegge and Caprica 6 Who Are In Love, by Yours Truly.

ISBN?
posted by Tehanu at 2:36 PM on June 3, 2008


it, uh... doesn't have one. would a usenet address suffice?
posted by shmegegge at 2:40 PM on June 3, 2008


I also have a livejournal if that'll do.
posted by shmegegge at 2:40 PM on June 3, 2008


What, no History of the Peloponnesian War?
posted by rush at 2:41 PM on June 3, 2008


Hillary has been Yale-educated for twice as long.

And Dubya was Yale-educated for 32 years at the time of his election. Nice metric you've got there.
posted by anomie at 2:43 PM on June 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


Straw Dogs.

That is all.
posted by turgid dahlia at 2:43 PM on June 3, 2008


Or frankly, anything by Ms. Tuchman. JFK specifically mentioned "The Guns of August" during the Cuban missile crisis.

That book rocked my pants off. You heard me. Right the hell off.
posted by turgid dahlia at 2:45 PM on June 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


livejournal? Ah no, I think I'll go read... anything else.
posted by Tehanu at 2:45 PM on June 3, 2008


Pastabagel writes "So yeah, it's fair to cast Obama as a bit of a neophyte."

Being in government is like being in the porn business. You're less attractive the longer you're in it.
posted by mullingitover at 3:12 PM on June 3, 2008 [5 favorites]


Second, he's only been Harvard-educated for 17 years. Hillary has been Yale-educated for twice as long.

By contrast, Steve Ballmer, who is only 5 years older than Barack, has been Harvard-educated for 31 years.


This cracked me up....
posted by mr_roboto at 3:20 PM on June 3, 2008


They all need to read TimeCube. The candidates must acknowledge 4 corner days or incur Easter Island ending.
posted by never used baby shoes at 3:58 PM on June 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


If anything these Hysterical Alarmist Book Of The Month selections say is true, then all the candidates are already part of the Cabal.

So, I take it you've read all these hysterical alarmist books?

Ha ha ha! Sorry, wait... ha ha ha! No, of course, I'm kidding. Of course you haven't, but pitching snark is fun, isn't it?

In other news, I loooove Junot Díaz.
posted by jammy at 4:46 PM on June 3, 2008


pitching snark is fun, isn't it?

Sho' is!
posted by nasreddin at 4:47 PM on June 3, 2008


Any candidate who finds the time to read all of these between now and November should automatically lose the election.

What? Fuck that. Any candidate who finds the time to read all of these between now and November should automatically win the election.
posted by Caduceus at 5:12 PM on June 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


A rather pointless article since all three candidates are well aware of far superior recommendations. . .
posted by ageispolis at 5:18 PM on June 3, 2008


What, no History of the Peloponnesian War?

Rush, I thought that might be good reading too. However, upon reflection, Thucydides' style is too deep for any of these candidates to get much from. It's way too easy to imagine each of them reading the Melian Dialogue as a primer on how to handle small, independent nations (for example).
posted by voltairemodern at 6:01 PM on June 3, 2008


Shmegegge, very nice imaginary books. Since Obama and McCain don't have time to read all them really huge and complicated books, I would keep it simple. The Giving Tree..Shel Silverstein, and this other one about a caterpillar who follows another to a big pile of caterpillar climbing upward, and all of them saying "we're doing it cuz they are" and the first one makes it to the top and there's nothing there. Meanwhile, one who stayed behind made a cocoon and came out as a Monarch and flew over the whole pile. I think it went that way. They 're probably surrounded by bookwriters anyway.
posted by Flex1970 at 6:06 PM on June 3, 2008


If anything these Hysterical Alarmist Book Of The Month selections say is true....

You know, I almost joined that once, but I decided that I didn't want to lick all those stamps... the cryptoneolibrarian lizards who run things aren't getting my DNA that easily.
posted by rokusan at 6:06 PM on June 3, 2008


Clinton and Obama are both well-read enough. What would work out even better than reading is for the two of them add one another as "friends" on their Facebook pages, download and file-share One Nation Under A Groove, and then both of them together-Obama and Hillary 2008-gets with the entire country in Chocolate City for an solid fitting at MAJOR DC before going LIVE together at Chuck Brown Party Roll-style go-go party.

I mean, wow, that is the real izz!

And all McCain needs to read is the writing on the wall: AINT NO "GO GO" FOR SIR NOSE, JUST "GO!
posted by humannaire at 7:36 PM on June 3, 2008


...their suggested required reading for each of the three presidential candidates.

There are only two presidential candidates.
posted by churl at 7:53 PM on June 3, 2008


However, upon reflection, Thucydides' style is too deep for any of these candidates to get much from. It's way too easy to imagine each of them reading the Melian Dialogue as a primer on how to handle small, independent nations (for example).

On the other hand, I think asking the Candidates to read and interpret Thucydides's account of the Sicilian Expedition would prove enlightening.

Obama would probably naively assume it's a relatively straightforward account of the consequences of politically motivated cocksure military adventurism. Clinton, however, would hold a more nuanced view, perhaps that Athens could have succeeded if they had had a clearer objective, and had adequately planned for an extensive siege of Syracuse.

McCain, on the other hand, would fall asleep in his wingback after 2 pages, the book dangling from one hand. When asked about it, he praises the martial competency of the Athenian forces, which confuses everyone until it is revealed that he is confusing Melos with Sicily.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 2:23 AM on June 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


I thought everyone knew what Obama is currently reading.
posted by the cydonian at 2:31 AM on June 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


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