Obama in the Sunday Reviews

The Sunday book reviews feature the Inauguration. The LA Times Book section’s “Special Inaugural Issue” asks six writers, including Jane Smiley, “What might the presidency of Barack Obama mean for literature and culture?”

The Washington Post Book World offers an odd take, featuring three books of Americana, including Barack Obama: 44th President, by Avery Krut (Whitman, $49.95), calling it,

Not so much a book as a cupboard between hard covers, it is full of tickets, bumper stickers, reprints of speeches, penciled letters from admiring kids and all sorts of other electioneering byproducts, each tucked into its own envelope-like slot.”

The NY Times Book Review examines books on important topics for the next administration, including Afghanistan and Pakistan, Presidents who took command during difficult times, and even, The Case for Big Government

The NYT BR also sorts through recent titles on Obama, “written and published (with great speed) before or just after the election…” as well as an earlier book by incoming chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel. Reviewer Alan Brinkley, Columbia University history professor recommends the following:

The most impressive, “for sheer speed and competence” 

longtime

A LONG TIME COMING: The Inspiring, Combative 2008 Campaign and the Historic Election of Barack Obama
By Evan Thomas

  • Hardcover: $22.95; 256 pages
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs, (January 6, 2009)
  • ISBN-10: 1586486071
  • ISBN-13: 978-1586486075

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The “most interesting of the recent policy books” (it appeared right after the 2006 Congressional elections)

plan

THE PLAN: Big Ideas for Change in America
by Rahm Emanuel and Bruce Reed

  • Paperback: $13.95; 224 pages
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs; Reprint edition (January 5, 2009)
  • ISBN-10: 1586487604
  • ISBN-13: 978-1586487607

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A “particularly valuable guide to what the progressive left hopes to see in the Obama presidency”

challenge

OBAMA’S CHALLENGE: America’s Economic Crisis and the Power of a Transformative Presidency
By Robert Kuttner

  • Paperback: $14.95; 224 pages
  • Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing (August 25, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 1603580794
  • ISBN-13: 978-1603580793

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