Today’s New York Times, in preparation for tomorrow’s big event of course, featured a number of articles about President-Elect Barack Obama, the inauguration and the current political situation overall. One article I found to be particularly interesting though was “From Books, New President Found Voice” by Mitchiko Kakutani.
The article talks about how through books Obama learned about the power of the written word to inspire and transform our world. This strong feeling toward the power of words and speech is unsurprising considering the praise Obama has recieved for his own eloquence and ability to move an audience with his words. It makes sense that he is an ardent reader and shows once again the importance of reading and the impact it can have.
In addition to the article the Times included a Presidential reading list to highlight some of the books that have personally inspired Obama. This list includes:
- The Bible
- “Parting the Waters” Taylor Branch
- “Self-Reliance” Ralph Waldo Emerson
- Gandhi’s autobiography
- “Team of Rivals” Doris Kearns Goodwin
- “The Golden Notebook” Doris Lessing
- Lincoln’s collected writings
- “Moby-Dick” Herman Melville
- “Song of Solomon” Toni Morrison
- Works of Reinhold Niebuhr
- “Gilead” Marilynne Robinson
- Shakespeare’s tragedies
I myself cannot say that I have read the majority of the books on this list, but I do find them inspiring and books to consider when my current book of choice is complete. I will probably not read the entire list but I plan to hit a few and perhaps will then understand our new President from a new perspective. And hey, who knows, maybe I will find some of my own inner eloquence as well 🙂
So that time we have all been waiting for is finally here. Election day. It’s hard to believe that soon the yard signs will be coming down, the endless string of commercials will be pulled from the air, and no longer will every conversation surround the battle between Obama and McCain. I thought I would be ecstatic for this day to arrive but I find that the end of this battle is actually bittersweet. On the one hand the end to the constant name calling, politically-driven commercials and discussions regarding who is more qualified will be a pleasant change but on the other the time before election day I find to be exciting. During this time is one of the rare times in which everyone in America has a common agenda and can relate with everyone else. Living in one of the biggest battle grounds in the U.S. makes this time all the more exciting. Just this past week we have had the opportunity to hear Jay-Z and LeBron James state their support of Obama, Bruce Springsteen and Obama himself host a rally bringing in 80,000 people, as well as Rudy Giuliani hosting a rally in my very own home town. This election I find to be unique in that in seems that everyone is involved. More people than ever are out and registered especially in the category I find myself in- the youth. We have found our voice and today are able to share our views and show that are opinions do count and that we are not as apathetic as we were once thought to be. Today is history in the making.
Barack Obama. I never got the opportunity to post my pre-election blog on November 4th so instead of deleting it I decided to just add my post-election comments to the same post. November 4th is now a day that will be forever remembered. Whether or not you helped elect Barack Obama to the Presidency you are still witnessing the amazing steps America has made as a nation. We, the United States of America, now have a black President. This amazing turn of events shows how far we have come and that we are still the tolerant and accepting nation we were founded as. I was sadly not at Grant Park or in New York City with the masses when this monumental event occurred but even from my couch in Chagrin Falls I could feel the emotion and significance felt by those people. This is the first step into a new chapter for our country and I myself am excited to see where it will lead.