Barack Obama shared his current reading list in a Facebook post on Saturday, offering insight into what the former president is thinking about now that he is no longer in the White House.
The list, which Obama describes as "admittedly a slightly heavier" one than he will be reading over the summer, includes a book titled "Why Liberalism Failed," another by Mitch Landrieu, the former Democratic mayor of New Orleans, about confronting racism, and a report titled "Truth Decay: An Initial Exploration of the Diminishing Role of Facts and Analysis in American Public Life."
In what sounds like a warning, Obama wrote that the report from Rand Corp. is "a look at how a selective sorting of facts and evidence isn't just dishonest, but self-defeating to a society that has always worked best when reasoned debate and practical problem-solving thrive."
On "Why Liberalism Failed" by Patrick Deneen, Obama wrote, "I don't agree with most of the author's conclusions, but the book offers cogent insights into the loss of meaning and community that many in the West feel, issues that liberal democracies ignore at their own peril."
The book Obama is reading by Landrieu, who is considered a potential 2020 prospect, is titled, "In the Shadow of Statues: A White Southerner Confronts History." Last year, Landrieu made headlines for a speech in support of removing Confederate monuments.
In his Facebook post, Obama wrote that Landrieu delves into "some of the most painful parts of our history and how they still live in the present," and called the book "an ultimately optimistic take from someone who believes the South will rise again not by reasserting the past, but by transcending it.
Both Obama and his predecessor, George W. Bush, regularly released reading lists while on vacation. Obama's typically included a mix of literary fiction, biographies and historical accounts. Bush liked to consume presidential biographies, novels and even some young-adult titles.
President Donald Trump, who has said he doesn't have time to read books, has not released similar lists, although he has recommended several books individually to his Twitter followers.
Other items on Obama's list
- "Futureface: A Family Mystery, an Epic Quest, and the Secret to Belonging," by Alex Wagner.
- "The New Geography of Jobs," by Enrico Moretti.
- "The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy," by Matthew Stewart, The Atlantic.