“Not since Lincoln has there been a president as fundamentally shaped — in his life, convictions and outlook on the world — by reading and writing as Barack Obama,” said Michiko Kakutani, the literary critic of the famed New York Times. Did you know this? Frankly, I did not know President Obama was so wedded to books and the printed word as to be compared to President Abraham Lincoln, author of the Gettysburg Address and the magisterial second inaugural address and devotee of Shakespeare. To be honest, I did not think that by the wildest leap of imagination Obama could be compared even to Presidents Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, who holds a doctorate, or Ulysses S. Grant, the author of — until now — the finest presidential autobiography of all time….
Yet Kakutani has delivered the above testimonial. Moreover, others who have had the pleasure of reading Obama’s earlier writing have been equally lavish in their praise of his literary saga. I had known him to deliver passable speeches from a teleprompter, ad-lib tolerably well on contemporary life and watch sports on television. But to be shaped by books as Lincoln was?