What Jefferson Read, Ike Watched, and Obama Tweeted

What Jefferson Read, Ike Watched, and Obama Tweeted

200 Years of Popular Culture in the White House

Paperback - 2013
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From Cicero to Snooki, the cultural influences on our American presidents are powerful and plentiful. Thomas Jefferson famously said "I cannot live without books," and his library backed up the claim, later becoming the backbone of the new Library of Congress. Jimmy Carter watched hundreds of movies in his White House, while Ronald Reagan starred in a few in his own time. Lincoln was a theater-goer, while Obama kicked back at home to a few episodes of HBO's "The Wire."

America is a country built by thinkers on a foundation of ideas. Alongside classic works of philosophy and ethics, however, our presidents have been influenced by the books, movies, TV shows, viral videos, and social media sensations of their day. In What Jefferson Read, Ike Watched, and Obama Tweeted: 200 Years of Popular Culturen in the White House presidential scholar and former White House aide Tevi Troy combines research with witty observation to tell the story of how our presidents have been shaped by popular culture.
Publisher: Washington, DC : Regnery, c2013.
ISBN: 9781621570394
Characteristics: xix, 332 p. ; 23 cm.


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Mark_Daly Aug 15, 2017

A quick read but not always so precise about exactly which titles the modern presidents read.

hania4987 Feb 18, 2014

This is such an informative and fun read! In addition to the presidential trivia about the books read, plays attended, movies watched, and later, radio then television programs enjoyed, Troy makes the point that popular culture in all its forms has always had a profound influence on the Presidency in particular. I was taught that popular culture greatly started to influence politics and the Presidency in the mid-20th century, especially during the Kennedy administration. Troy argues that the most successful presidents have understood and used the mediums of popular culture of their time to spread their ideas and policy objectives. He also points out actual habits, likes and dislikes versus perceived or cultivated images. The most important idea he presents is that the crucial component to ensure the success of the constitutional system of checks and balances is an educated and vigilant citizenry. Popular culture / mass culture has the power to change political trends and the nature of the Presidency; and the President, in his position, has the ability to influence popular opinion.

Vincent T Lombardo Nov 22, 2013

Informative and fairly well written. Troy is most informative and most interesting when he discusses the reading habits of every presideInt from Truman to Obama.


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