As Bush Sr., a Bible study helped win the election, why George Washington delved into the rules of etiquette a century ago and what made the French wear the “I read Princess of Cleves” badges, Elena Bukhteyeva, who presents her version of the list of favorite presidents' books, will tell.
George Washington and the rules of decent behavior
The first president of the United States came from a family of landowners. George Washington did not finish prestigious educational institutions, he received a home education and drew all his knowledge from the books he chose. As a child, George read a collection of rules formulated by French Jesuits in the 16th century. The manual was called "Rules of civilization and decent behavior." Excerpts from the book, which he transferred to his notebook, mainly related to how to talk, ethics of behavior at the table, the ability to dress.
It is curious that for more than a hundred years these instructions have not become outdated, since Washington, guided by them, had the reputation of being educated and sensitive in political circles.
Theodore Roosevelt and Odyssey's Journeys
The entourage of the 26th President of the United States made various guesses about what he was hiding in a small wrought chest. Wherever Roosevelt went, he invariably took him with him - to the ranch, to the White House, to the war. And the chest was always locked. It was only after the death of the president that it became known that in it lay the books of Homer, which Theodore Roosevelt read in the original.
By the way, few people knew that the president was almost blind in one eye. Despite this, in the morning at breakfast he managed to “swallow” a whole book. Theodore independently developed 5 principles of speed reading, which are used today. To call Roosevelt just a well-read man would be too modest - he has tens of thousands of works.
George Bush Sr. and an annoying misunderstanding
When asked about their favorite books, presidents are sometimes cunning. So, George Bush Sr. told reporters that in his childhood, he had a great pleasure to read “The Catcher in the Rye”. But when he was a teenager, Salinger's book had not yet been published. After this annoying incident about his literary preferences, Bush elder did not want to spread.
However, it is known for certain that he knows the contents of the Bible perfectly. In 1985, the Bible Study Society was founded in Midland. One of its members was George Herbert Walker Bush. At that time, the oil company that belonged to him went bankrupt, while he himself became excessively addicted to alcohol. The slogan of the society read: “Jesus Christ is the one who will pull us out of adversity, we just need to give him heart and soul.” Indeed, an appeal to faith and a thorough knowledge of the Holy Scriptures helped Bush not only to start life from scratch, but also to get the votes of evangelicals in the elections.
Barack Obama and The Lord of the Rings
US President Barack Obama to the genre of fantasy. Topping the list of his favorite books are The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit by John Tolkien. Obama also admitted that he still rereads the stories of Dr. Suze. In Russia, the author is little known, but in the USA everyone reads his Kota in the Hat. This is a children's book, the heroes of which with great pleasure do everything that their parents forbid them. The Russian equivalent of Kota in the Hat can be called Grigori Oster’s “Bad Advice”.
Nicolas Sarkozy, "Princess of Cleves" and the enraged professors of the Sorbonne
His favorite book, the French president calls the "Red and Black" Stendhal. However, heated discussion in society caused Sarkozy’s attitude to another novel. It is about the “Princess of Cleves”, attributed to Madame de Lafayette.
In 2006, a meeting of officials was held in Lyon, where Sarkozy spoke. He demanded an end to the oppression of contests and examinations for public service workers, and said in his heart: “Only a sadist or an idiot at an interview can test the knowledge of“ Princess of Cleves ”from people applying for the position of social workers!”. Immediately after this statement, the sales of the novel grew significantly, many even began to wear the badges “I read Princess of Cleves.” Sarkozy hated this book and confessed that it was given to him with great agony.
Professors and students of Sorbonne were about a novel of a different opinion. They hardened against Sarkozy and laid watch on him at every performance to read aloud "Princess of Cleves". Presumably, it is unlikely that the French president was inflamed to the book with love after such actions.
"Princess of Cleves" is not the first time was the subject of discussion. The novel, published in 1678, was received by the public ambiguously and was subjected to severe criticism. The book did not resemble the sugary novels of those years. The author described the events at the royal court realistic enough and also made an attempt to psychological analysis of the actions of the heroes, which at that time was an innovation. In favor of the literary merits of "Princess of Cleves," says the fact that the book has been repeatedly filmed and is still included in the mandatory program of French schools.
Vladimir Putin and historical works
In the list of his favorite authors - Dostoevsky, Klyuchevsky, Shmelev, Goethe, Tolstoy. The poet Omar Khayyam was also in favorites. Also, Vladimir Putin admitted that the formation of his character was influenced by the heroes of Ernest Hemingway and Jack London. It is quite another thing than Barack Obama with his love of fantasy ...
Hugo Chavez and his unexpected trick
During the summit of the leaders of the countries of South American nations, the Venezuelan president unexpectedly rose from the table and presented the book “Open veins of Latin America” to Barack Obama. Hugo Chavez explained that this is his favorite book, and he would like the US President to read it. The trick is that the author - a writer and journalist Eduardo Galeano - told in his work how the conquerors plundered Latin American countries for five centuries. And at first Spain was engaged in it, and later - the USA. I must say that the Open Veins of Latin America is considered one of the best books in the genre of journalism, it has been translated into almost all languages of the world.