The Great Books President
Reading this article on Obama’s reading habits, I was struck by how traditional his choices were — and at the same time how enthusiastic he seemed to be about them, how deeply he seemed to engage. He seems like a true believer in the Great Books paradigm, and his rhetoric matches, with all his talk of meeting contemporary challenges with timeless truths.
In such an anti-intellectual country the impact is probably small, but I think the fact that he is so resolutely, traditionally, and apparently contentedly Western in his thinking was one aspect of the “normalization” process that made Americans able to swallow the idea of a man with such an unusual name and background as president.
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