Obama served as the first African-American president of the United States from January 20, 2009 to January 20, 2017. Born to an American mother and a Kenyan father in Honolulu, Hawaii, Obama started off with humble beginnings. He was part of a middle-class family, made his way into Harvard, worked as a lawyer, a governor, and eventually, as the president of the United States.
During his administration, he helped pass several bills that sought to rebuild the economy, ensured health care for everyone, ended the war in Iraq, brought forward marriage equality, and much more.
Obama’s primary legislation was in health care reform, the Protection and Affordable Care Act which sought to prevent denial of coverage based on pre-existing conditions, allowed for the parental coverage of people under 26 years old, provided free health screenings for certain individuals, and in 2012, passed a law that made it mandatory for every American to purchase health insurance.
His actions in foreign policy, the economy, and efforts in pushing stricter gun control laws have made people look back at his presidency with nostalgia. Among other things, he was known for his calm demeanor, his charismatic personality, and hope for the future; frequently speaking about the change that he and the American people would bring to the country and the world.
On another note, Obama reads hundreds and hundreds of books. This list is based on Wired’s 2016 interview that pinned down his essential reads.
Ranging from finely honed legal argument to wry and some sometimes savage humor to private correspondence and political rhetoric of unsurpassed grandeur, the writings collected in this volume are at once a literary testament of the greatest writer ever to occupy the White House and a documentary history of America in Abraham Lincoln’s time.
In volume one of his America in the King Years, Pulitzer Prize winner Taylor Branch gives a masterly account of the American civil rights movement. It is hailed as the most masterful story ever told of the American civil rights movement, Parting the Waters is destined to endure for generations.
One of the most acclaimed books of our time, winner of both the Pulitzer and the Francis Parkman prizes, The Power Broker tells the hidden story behind the shaping (and mis-shaping) of twentieth-century New York (city and state) and makes public what few have known: that Robert Moses was, for almost half a century, the single most powerful man of our time in New York, the shaper not only of the city's politics but of its physical structure and the problems of urban decline that plague us today.
A national bestseller when it first appeared in 1963, The Fire Next Time galvanized the nation and gave passionate voice to the emerging civil rights movement. At once a powerful evocation of James Baldwin's early life in Harlem and a disturbing examination of the consequences of racial injustice.
Any short list of the world's most admired business people would include Andy Grove, the chairman and CEO of Intel during its years of explosive growth. During Grove's career, Intel became the model for Silicon Valley. Silicon Valley became the model for the world. And Grove became Time's Man of the Year—an icon of the promise of the American life.
In Sapiens, Dr. Yuval Noah Harari spans the whole of human history, from the very first humans to walk the earth to the radical -- and sometimes devastating -- breakthroughs of the Cognitive, Agricultural, and Scientific Revolutions.
Two systems drive the way we think and make choices, Daniel Kahneman explains: System One is fast, intuitive, and emotional; System Two is slower, more deliberative, and more logical. Examining how both systems function within the mind, Kahneman exposes the extraordinary capabilities as well as the biases of fast thinking and the pervasive influence of intuitive impressions on our thoughts and our choices.
Over the last half a billion years, there have been five mass extinctions, when the diversity of life on earth suddenly and dramatically contracted. Scientists around the world are currently monitoring the sixth extinction, predicted to be the most devastating extinction event since the asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs. This time around, the cataclysm is us.
At once a relentlessly fast-paced, admirably observed novel of social unrest and the story of a young man's struggle for identity,In Dubious Battle is set in the California apple country, where a strike by migrant workers against rapacious landowners spirals out of control, as a principled defiance metamorphoses into blind fanaticism.
In this brilliant, breathtaking book by Pulitzer Prize winner Katherine Boo, a bewildering age of global change and inequality is made human through the dramatic story of families striving toward a better life in Annawadi, a makeshift settlement in the shadow of luxury hotels near the Mumbai airport.