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The secret literary life of George W. Bush

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Some of the titles that Rove says Bush read during the period of their contest include the following: "The nonfiction ran from biographies of Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Carnegie, Mark Twain, Babe Ruth, King Leopold, William Jennings Bryan, Huey Long, LBJ and Genghis Khan to Andrew Roberts's 'A History of the English Speaking Peoples Since 1900,' James L. Swanson's 'Manhunt,' and Nathaniel Philbrick's 'Mayflower' Besides eight Travis McGee novels by John D. MacDonald, Mr. Bush tackled Michael Crichton's 'Next,' Vince Flynn's 'Executive Power,' Stephen Hunter's 'Point of Impact,' and Albert Camus's 'The Stranger,' among others."

It's an impressive list. I get paid to read and consequently go through many titles a year but I'm still impressed.

However, the revelation of this surprising bent for reading is not earning the president much good press.

"The books themselves reveal — actually, confirm — something about Bush that maybe Rove did not intend,"  writes Richard Cohen in the San Jose Mercury News. "They are not the reading of a widely read man, but instead the books of a man who seeks — and sees – vindication in every page. Bush has always been the captive of fixed ideas. His books just support that."

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