Political books the presidential candidates should be reading
The Times' book staff asked writers, historians and cultural observers for their suggestions on books that could help Romney or Obama govern effectively over the next four years.
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Carlin Romano( Random House Publishing Group / August 16, 2012 )
Romano is critic-at-large of the Chronicle of Higher Education and the author of "America the Philosophical."
"To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee
Romney can view the ugliness of veiled racism and the importance of moral courage. Obama can note that dignity and class in the face of outrageous insult wins admiration — and maybe votes.
"The Federalist Papers"
Romney can learn that genuflection to the tea party and its vicious factionalism violates fundamental principles of American government. Obama can take comfort from understanding anew why, almost masochistically, he should continue to try to work with Republicans.
"Night" by Elie Wiesel
Romney can notice that Americans in 2012 are not the people most oppressed in history by a government. Obama can remember, as when he stood beside Wiesel at Buchenwald, that Jews accused of "paranoia" about sworn enemies deserve some benefit of the doubt.