President Barack Obama’s visit to a DC bookstore resulted in 17 purchases. The Commander in Chief briefly looked at Meet The Press host Chuck Todd’s account of what Todd calls Obama’s failures–before leaving it on the table. (Chuck’s sad, he supposedly said.) Among those that made it into Obama’s bag were Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson and The Laughing Monsters by Denis Johnson. He also picked up the Joseph Conrad classic, Heart of Darkness.
There’s little doubt that Obama has read the Conrad before. But having worked with Congress now for 6 years passages like the following may take on added resonance:
“It was unearthly, and the men were—No, they were not inhuman. Well, you know, that was the worst of it—the suspicion of their not being inhuman. It would come slowly to one. They howled and leaped, and spun, and made horrid faces; but what thrilled you was just the thought of their humanity—like yours—the thought of your remote kinship with this wild and passionate uproar.” There’s also this most famous of the lines in the book: “The horror! The horror!”