Friday, June 15, 2007

Political Life

I am fascinated by American politics as it is so different to the way things work in Australia. Due to this fascination I have always enjoyed reading political biographies and autobiographies and I want to talk about two examples that I have enjoyed reading.
The first is Bill Clinton's autobiography, My Life, which is a long and detailed look at the life of one of the great President's of the 20th Century. Clinton is engaging and very readable which is important in a book of this length. (957 p.) It is good to see a politician talking about their thinking for undertaking certain courses of action. Sure it contains its fair share of blame shifting and rewriting of history, but so does any biography or autobiography.
The other book I wanted to mention is more of a series by Robert A Caro. Caro is writing a definitive history of LBJ and so far in three large volumes has managed to tell the story up until LBJ is made president. This series is a insightful and detailed look at one of the tragic figures in American politics. The rise of a hugely successful Senator to the fall of a President caught in a war that was not his to begin with.
Reading these books are a serious investment in time but if you do you will not be disappointed, and will come away with a different understanding of the American political process.

No comments:

Post a Comment