By Situation Theatre 27/8/2019
He may have been the Deporter-in-Chief and the Drone President, but he sure does read.
It’s been an exciting month for literate liberals with their one true God, Barack Obama, releasing his summer reading list.
It’s a wonderful list and a few examples are worth highlighting.
Obama says The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead is a “necessary read”, much like The Intercept’s coverage of his secret assassination program in Afghanistan, Yemen, and Somalia. He describes the novel as “difficult to swallow”, which also happens to be an apt description of the idea Obama was some kind of great defender of liberty and justice.
He recommends American Spy by Lauren Wilkinson, an interest in intelligence gathering he pursued by prosecuting more whistleblowers under the Espionage Act than all previous Presidents combined.
Obama says “you’ll get a better sense of the complexity and redemption within the American immigrant story with Dinaw Mengestu’s novel, How to Read the Air”, just don’t mention the 2.5 million people he deported between 2009 and 2015.
He also writes that “Maid by Stephanie Land is a single mother’s personal, unflinching look at America’s class divide, a description of the tightrope many families walk just to get by, and a reminder of the dignity of all work.” The indignity of Obama’s hard work increasing the class divide by getting chummy with Wall St may be an exception.
Sure, his legacy of deportation, drone strikes, increased surveillance and skyrocketing inequality wasn’t perfect, but gee whiz he has good taste.