Feature

What to make of Obama's book choice

Barack Obama was photographed on Monday walking across a tarmac in Bozeman, Montana with a copy of Fareed Zakaria

What happenedBarack Obama was photographed on Monday walking across a tarmac in Bozeman, Montana with a copy of Fareed Zakaria’s The Post-American World, spurring a flurry of reactions about the importance of Obama's reading choice. (The New York Times Paper Cuts blog)

What the commentators said"The book was already at #7 in our Top 100," said Amazon.com's Omnivorous blog. But by Thursday, May 22, "Zakara passed stalwarts Barbara Walters and Stephenie Meyer to hit #4." With literary influence like that, Barack Obama could be "the new Oprah"!

But "this won't help with Obama's elitist image," said the Gateway Pundit blog. The book, about the dispersement of American dominance in the global arena, will probably alienate "those gun-toting Bible-thumpers," and it raises some interesting questions about Obama's motivations in foreign policy.

What’s the big deal? said Dayo Olopade in The New Republic's The Plank blog. The gist of what Zakaria says in The Post-American World is that Americans must give as well as take. If there is a significance to Obama’s choice of reading materials, it’s that “foreign policy must be conducted in the hope that the nations we help to strengthen will in turn produce ideas that” help improve the world.

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