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Barack Obama (Former USA President)

According to the president’s Facebook page and a 2008 interview with the New York Times, these titles are among his most influential forever favorites:

  • Moby Dick, Herman Melville
  • Self-Reliance, Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Song Of Solomon, Toni Morrison
  • Parting The Waters, Taylor Branch
  • Gilead, Marylinne Robinson
  • Best and the Brightest, David Halberstam
  • The Federalist, Alexander Hamilton
  • Souls of Black Folk, W.E.B. Du Bois
  • The Power and the Glory, Graham Greene
  • The Quiet American, Graham Greene
  • Cancer Ward, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
  • Gandhi’s autobiography
  • Working, Studs Terkel
  • Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith
  • Theory of Moral Sentiments, Adam Smith
  • All the King’s Men, Robert Penn Warren

Amazon description

In a poor, remote section of southern Mexico, the Red Shirts have taken control. God has been outlawed, and the priests have been systematically hunted down and killed. Now, the last priest strives to overcome physical and moral cowardice in order to find redemption. Graham Greene explores corruption and atonement in this penetrating novel set in 1930s Mexico during the era of Communist religious persecutions.

As revolutionaries determine to stamp out the evils of the church through violence, the last Roman Catholic priest is on the lam, hunted by a police lieutenant. Despite his own sense of worthlessness -- he is a heavy drinker and has fathered an illegitimate child -- he is determined to continue to function as a priest until captured. He is contrasted with Padre Jose, a priest who has accepted marriage and embodies humiliation. A Christian parable pitting God and religion against twentieth-century materialism, The Power and the Glory is considered by many, including the author himself, to be Greene's best work.

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