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45位美国总统最喜爱的书!(1-22)

2017-02-22 哲学园

置顶哲学园  好文不错过


The Favorite Books of All 44 Presidents of the United States

Here’s every U.S. president and their preferred read.

By Dave Odegard


1. George Washington


Served: 1789-1797
Book: Cato, a Tragedy by Joseph Addison

Many might cite George Washington’s book , as being the one that impacted him the most. But it was probably . This 1712 historic tragedy was a hit throughout the English-speaking world, especially in the colonies. The play explores themes of stoicism, republicanism, virtue, and liberty by telling the story of a Roman politician unsuccessfully trying to prevent Julius Caesar’s rise to emperor. Washington often paraphrased the work in his letters, refashioned its dramatic speeches into his own, and even had a production performed for his troops at Valley Forge.


2. John Adams


Served: 1797-1801
Book: An Historical and Moral View of the Origin and Progress of the French Revolution by Mary Wollstonecraft.

John Adams was (among many other things) a lawyer, statesman, diplomat, and political theorist. Oh, and he was a big reader. A REALLY big reader. By the end of his life, Adams owned over 3,5000 volumes. And, what’s more,  scribbling thoughts, reactions, and counter-arguments to the text in the margins — essentially providing a unique insight into his mind. Today, Adams’ personal library is at home in the Boston public library, where his margin notes have been thoroughly analyzed and catalogued. And the tome that received the most margin notes?  by feminist writer (and mother of Frankenstein author Mary Shelly) Mary Wollstonecraft. Adams wrote 10,000 words next to Wollstonecraft’s, many of them unkind. Hey, sometimes your “favorite” book is also the one that challenges you the most, right?


3. Thomas Jefferson


Served: 1801-1809
Book: Whatever he was reading.

If John Adams was a big reader, then his one-time friend and one-time enemy Thomas Jefferson was a HUGE reader. Jefferson was known to collect books on a wide manner of subjects and stash volumes throughout his home, Monticello, in various rooms in case he ever found himself bored or with time to kill. At one point, Jefferson’s personal library was the largest personal collection in the country. He even  when the British burned Washington down during the War of 1812. Jefferson’s constant purchasing of books also seems to have been a detriment to his finances and probably played some part in his bankruptcy at the time of his death. So yeah… picking just one book beloved by Jefferson is probably impossible.


4. James Madison


Served: 1809-1817
Book: The Collected Essays of John Locke by John Locke

English philosopher John Locke was a major influence on those behind the American Revolution. His thoughts on the human mind and government, particularly advocating the social contract theory, are evident everywhere from the language of the Declaration of Independence to the very structure of the American government. One Founding Father who seems to have been most influenced by Locke was James Madison, who is often known as “The father of the Constitution,” and is largely credited with creating the Bill of Rights. Madison likely first encountered Locke’s work while studying at what would eventually become Princeton University. As : “Locke’s thought influenced Madison early and remained always the foundation of his personal and public philosophy.”


5. James Monroe


Served: 1817-1825
Book: Pleasures of the Imaginations by Mark Akenside

The last president who was also a Founding Father, James Monroe was an anti-federalist Jeffersonian. He’s best known for the creation of the Monroe Doctrine, which eventually evolved into a long-standing pillar of American foreign policy. But President Monroe was also something of a poetry lover. His parents  to him while he was growing up, and Monroe was a particular fan of English poet Mark Akenside, who was prominent in his day but is relatively unknown today. Akenside’s preeminent work is the long didactic poem Pleasures of the Imaginations. It not only professed deist ideals but ancient stoic philosophy as well, something that was “a point of view with a strong appeal for Monroe.”


6. John Quincy Adams


Served: 1825-1829
Book: Oberon by Christoph Martin Wieland

Like his predecessor, John Quincy Adams (son of John Adams) . So much so that he once wrote, “Could I have chosen my own genius and condition, I would have made myself a great poet.” He even tried his hand at crafting verse, which was met with mostly poor critical responses (though one poem was eventually included by Ralph Waldo Emerson in a collection of his favorite poems). Adams channeled his love of poetry into translating the epic German fairytale poem Oberon, which is still one of the few English versions of Weiland’s masterpiece.


7. Andrew Jackson

Served: 1829-1837
Book: The Vicar of Wakefield by Oliver Goldsmith

A president doesn’t earn the nickname “Old Hickory” by being well read. Jackson, most would agree, wasn’t exactly a scholar. Some have argued that criticism of Jackson’s non-literary attributes were . Yet the common claim is that the only non-secular book that he’d read was the Victorian melodrama The Vicar of Wakefield. The truth of such a claim is doubtful, but it appears that .


8. Martin Van Buren


Served: 1837-1841
Book: Autobiography of Martin Van Buren by Martin Van Buren

Nicknamed “Martin Van Ruin” by political opponents, Van Buren’s first and only term was marred by economic hardship, which really wasn’t his fault (at least according to modern historians). Van Buren, it seems, was intent on correcting the perception of his disastrous term in office. He attempted to run again as a third party candidate seven years after leaving office, but failed. He then spent his later years writing his autobiography, which never once mentioned his wife.

9. William H. Harrison


Served: 32 days, March 4, 1841 – April 4, 1841
Book: A Memoir of the Public Services of William Henry Harrison by James Hall

William Henry Harrison is best known as being the president who served the shortest amount of time, because he died of pneumonia a month after his inauguration… which isn’t a surprise, since he wore no coat, no hat, no gloves, and gave the longest inauguration speech of any president. Part of Harrison’s motivation for braving the cold and getting sick was his desire to keep up his image as a war hero. It was a persona first popularized with James Hall’s account of Harrison’s exploits, especially his “victory” at the Battle of Tippecanoe.


10. John Tyler


Served: 1841-1845
Book: The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith

John Tyler probably has the distinction of being the most obscure president in US history. Nicknamed “His Accidency” for being the first vice president to take over for a president who died in office, Tyler was locked out of making any effective efforts in domestic policy due to his conflicts with congress. The biggest influence on Tyler’s views was the pillar of classic economics: Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations. Tyler first encountered the book as a student at William & Mary and .


11. James K. Polk


Served: 1845-1849 
Book: His Diary

Few world leaders had kept such a detailed account of their time in office as James K. Polk. Started six months into office and maintained up until two weeks before his death, Polk’s diary spans 25 notebooks and four thousand pages. Some entries are short sentences; others are several pages. As a whole, Polk’s diary  not only into his administration but into the overall office of president.


12. Zachary Taylor


Served: March 4, 1849 – July 9, 1850
Book: The History of England by David Hume

Arguably the least-read president ever, Zachory Taylor grew up in what was then the frontier country of Kentucky. His education was sporadic at best, and his handwriting was once described as being like that of someone who was barely literate. But Taylor proved himself to be a leader, joining the US Army as a first lieutenant and rising to rank of major general, and earning recognition for his leadership during the War of 1812, the Second Seminole War, and the Mexican-American War. One of Taylor’s subordinates in particular, Ethan Allen Hitchock, criticized Taylor in his memoirs for his lack of book smarts,  when Taylor joined him in his tent and began a conversation about the English historian David Hume’s massive and incredibly dense History of England. Hitchcock wrote in his memoirs that he assumed, rather rudely, that it was the only book Taylor had ever read. Or maybe it was just the only one he wanted to talk about?


13. Millard Fillmore


Served: 1850-1853
Book: A dictionary

Other than the fact that Millard Fillmore was the last Whig Party president, Fillmore’s administration isn’t really considered that remarkable. His presidency is actually ranked in the bottom ten by most historians. But Fillmore’s rise to success is utterly fascinating. Born in a log cabin in New York State’s Finger Lakes region, Fillmore was raised in a family that only owned one book—a copy of the Bible—for him to learn to read with. So, while apprented to a clothes-maker as a teenager,  sometimes studying it while carding wool. It was the dictionary that would lead Fillmore to a better life as a lawyer’s apprentice, a career in politics, and eventually the White House.


14. Franklin Pierce


Served: 1853-1857 
Book: The Life of Franklin Pierce by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Franklin Pierce is considered by many to be one of the worst presidents in American history. He is best known for ineptly leading the country further down the path to civil war and getting arrested for running over a woman with his horse during his first year in office. So how did this no-name senator from New Hampshire get elected in the first place? The best-selling and most read author of his day, Nathaniel Hawthorne (yes, that Nathaniel Hawthorne) wrote an inspiring and sympathetic biography of Pierce that painted him as a national hero. And it was published JUST before the election. Why did Hawthorne write the book? .


15. James Buchanan


Served: 1857-1861
Book: Life of George Washington by Jared Sparks

James Buchanan’s failure to keep the South from seceding is why many consider him to be one of the worst presidents of all time. His lifelong bachelorhood is why many others consider him to be the first gay president. His hero was George Washington and he wished for his presidency to be like the first president’s. So it makes sense that . Was his favorite book? Perhaps not, but it was about his favorite president.


16. Abraham Lincoln


Served: 1861-1865
Book: Collected Works of William Shakespeare

It’s no secret that . He was known to carry around copies of the collected works, and there are anecdotes about him reading the Bard all throughout his life. At one White House dinner with an actor as a guest, Lincoln said, “Some of Shakespeare’s plays I have never read; while others I have gone over perhaps as frequently as any unprofessional reader. Among the latter areLearRichard the ThirdHenry the EighthHamlet, and especially Macbeth. I think nothing equals Macbeth.”


17. Andrew Johnson


Served: 1865-1869
Book: The American Speaker

Most biographers admit that many people in Raleigh, North Carolina considered young Andrew Johnson and his family white trash. Johnson’s parents were illiterate and he was apprenticed to a tailor shop as a young teenager, where he was taught the basics of reading and writing. Customers used to come into the shop to read to the tailors and , the first book he ever owned. Johnson practiced his reading with the book and . “How many times I have read the book I am unable to say,” he would say years later. “But I am satisfied it caused my life to take a different turn from what it otherwise would.”


18. Ulysses S. Grant


Served: 1869-1877
Book: Most likely a novel by Edward Bulwer-Lytton‬

Ulysses S. Grant was a better general than a president. His presidency was marred by an economic collapse and congressional investigations into financial corruption within his administration. But Grant’s military career didn’t have the most prosperous start either. In his own personal memoir, written at the end of his life, Grant admits to blowing off his studies at West Point , like James Fennimore Cooper, Washington Irving, and Walter Scott. But Edward Bulwer-Lytton is the one that Grant recounts reading the most, claiming to have read “all of Bulwer’s [novels] then published.” By the time Grant had started at West Point, Bulwer had published over 15 novels… which is probably why Grant graduated 21st in a class of 39.


19. Rutherford B. Hayes


Served: 1877-1881
Book: The Collected Speeches of Daniel Webster

Rutherford B. Hayes is often credited with working to smooth over the end of reconstruction and restore public faith back in the office of the presidency. One of Hayes’ major inspirations for beginning his political career was famed Civil War-era politician Daniel Webster, who gained national recognition as an orator. Hayes, while working as lawyer in Cincinnati, .


20. James A. Garfield


Served: March 4, 1881 – September 19, 1881
Book: Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe

James Garfield is pretty much only known for being the second shortest serving president and the second one assassinated. So a lot of people miss learning about his humble roots growing up on a farm in Ohio raised by his widowed mother and older brother. The Garfields didn’t own many books, just a few volumes plus the Bible and some school books, so when Garfield borrowed a copy of Robinson Crusoe his mind was blown. He spent hours reading and rereading it by the fire and would compare all other books from then on to it. As : “The impression made by that book upon his mind was never effaced. It only sharpened his appetite yet more for reading.”


21. Chester A. Arthur


Served: 1881-1885
Book: Something by Charles Dickens or William Makepeace Thackeray

Chester A. Arthur was a relative unknown thrust into the presidency, but his dedication to reform earned him public gratitude by the time he retired at the end of his term, due to poor health. In summing up his career, one journalist wrote, “No man ever entered the Presidency so profoundly and widely distrusted as Chester Alan Arthur, and no one ever retired… more generally respected, alike by political friend and foe.” Arthur’s biographers don’t mention any specific book or novel that he loved but  in his off time, while another .


22. Grover Cleveland


Served: 1885-1889 and 1893-1897
Book: Commentaries on the Laws of England‬ by William Blackstone

Grover Cleveland is the only President to serve two nonconsecutive terms, meaning he’s both the 22nd and 24th president. Despite an economic depression hitting the country in his second term, many still saw Cleveland as an honest leader and strong policymaker. But before he was president, and before he was governor of New York, Cleveland was a young guy desperate to learn the law. The story goes that when he started an apprenticeship with a law firm in Buffalo, the senior partner banged down the first volume of Blackstone ‘s Commentaries on the Laws of England‬, the preeminent law book of its day, and gruffly told the young Cleveland, “That’s where they all begin!” Cleveland would go on to study and master the volume as the first step in his legal and eventual political career. : “It was not a novel, but it was absorbingly interesting to a youth who regarded it as the gate through which he must pass to success in life, to wealth, and to honorable fame.”

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