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What Jefferson Read, Ike Watched, and Obama Tweeted

200 Years of Popular Culture in the White House

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


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 Pop Culture and the American Presidents: From Pamphlets to Podcasts, 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.

From Publishers Weekly

Jul 15, 2013 – In 2010, Obama delivered a joke about Jersey Shore reality star Snooki, but later admitted on The View that he didn’t know who she was; the typically pop culture–literate POTUS’s gaffe belied the White House’s struggle to maintain the dignity of the high office while simultaneously participating with the public in the consumption of culture. Troy (Intellectuals and the American Presidency), a senior fellow at the conservative Hudson Institute think tank, admiringly details the exemplary reading habits of the nation’s early presidents before tracking the slow but steady sidelining of the pastime. Teddy Roosevelt (who once declared, “Reading with me is a disease”) would be “the last reading president,” after which radio, music, film, TV, and the Internet fragmented the media landscape and the attentions of the American public—and the president. Troy’s casual history comes in easily digestible bites, and though his loyalty to former boss George W. Bush (under whom he served as the deputy secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services) clouds his analysis of the current and previous president, this is nevertheless an informative look at how these American leaders embraced and transformed popular culture and the ever-evolving office of the presidency.
What Jefferson Read, Ike Watched, and Obama Tweeted
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  • $18.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: United States
  • Published: Sep 02, 2013
  • Publisher: Regnery Publishing
  • Seller: The Perseus Books Group, LLC
  • Print Length: 416 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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