August 14, 2006

In order for the president's reading lists to be valuable, we have to believe the books are actually being read. Which is why this is so odd.

On his summer vacation in Crawford, Texas, George Bush read Albert Camus' novel The Stranger. I'm not sure what to make of this. It's usually college freshmen who suddenly take up the French existentialist's slim volume, and then usually to impress some literature major with wavy hair.

It's a novel steeped in philosophy, most notably Camus' existentialism, and delves into a not-so-subtle atheism (Meursault rejects any suggestion of embracing religion and believes there are no supernatural influences on humanity).

It's why, when White House officials say Bush was reading The Stranger in between brush-clearing and bike-rides, they're almost certainly not telling the truth.

--Guest Post by Steve Benen, The Carpetbagger Report

Can you help us out?

For 17 years we have been exposing Washington lies and untangling media deceit, but now Facebook is drowning us in an ocean of right wing lies. Please give a one-time or recurring donation, or buy a year's subscription for an ad-free experience. Thank you.

Discussion

We are currently migrating to Disqus

On May 14, 2022, we started migrating our comments from Insticator back to Disqus. During this transition period, some posts will have Insticator and some Disqus. For more information on the transition, as well as information regarding old C&L accounts, please see this post.


We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service for information on our posting policy.