In Bed With the Famous: They Have Read Some Good Ones Lately

David Martin is an Ottawa attorney and contributor to "101 Damnations: The Humorists' Tour of Personal Hells" (St. Martin's Press, 2002).

In the ongoing tradition of questioning celebrities about their reading habits, we've asked a number of famous folks what they are reading now. Realizing, however, that perception and reality do not always jibe, we've also checked out their nightstands to see what they're really reading.

George W. Bush:

"With a possible war on the horizon, I've been reading Eliot A. Cohen's excellent treatise, 'Supreme Command.' I've also put in an order with for Sun-Tzu's 'The Art of War.' "

Actual nightstand contents:

"Texas Slang for New England Aristocrats," "Foreign Policy for Dummies" and "An Insider's Guide to Avoiding Taxes."

Saddam Hussein:

"Every day I read a copy of the Koran that I wrote with my own blood. I'm also rereading my No. 1 bestseller, 'Zabibah and the King.' "

Actual nightstand contents:

"Swiss Residential Real Estate Listings," "Tripoli on $1,000 a Day" and "How I Spend My Days" by Idi Amin.

Trent Lott:

"I'm rereading the Civil Rights Act and 'The Autobiography of Malcolm X.' "

Actual nightstand contents:

"The One Minute Apology: A Powerful Way to Make Things Better," "Miss Manners' Basic Training: The Right Thing to Say" by Judith Martin, and "Stupid White Men" by Michael Moore.

Bill Clinton:

"I just finished 'Urban Planning in the Context of Municipal Financial Alternatives' and I'm planning to start 'Foreign Policy Options for Lithuania.' "

Actual nightstand contents:

"The Complete Penthouse Letters," the January issue of Cigar Aficionado magazine and "Leaves of Grass" by Walt Whitman (six copies).

Al Gore:

"I'm halfway through the Office of Management and Budget's 'Report to Congress for 2002,' Vol. 2, and I'm looking forward to receiving the third volume soon."

Actual nightstand contents:

The Office of Management and Budget's "Report to Congress for 2002," Vol. 2, and an order slip for volume three.

Alan Greenspan:

"Milton Friedman's 'Essays in Positive Economics.' "

Actual nightstand contents:

"Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six MIT Students Who Took Vegas for Millions" and "The Money Trap: A Practical Program to Stop Self-Defeating Financial Habits."

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