Lifestyle 21.03.24

We love President Obama’s required reading list for Wired

President Obama's required reading list he compiled for Wired is nothing short of epic. Who knew the current POTUS was so nerdy?
Kim Connor Streich
Kim Connor Streich

It’s been a glorious eight years of the Obama administration.

Come November 9th we’ll be seeing a new President sworn into power at the White House. In the meantime, the world’s watching the last few months of our man Barack’s reign as the POTUS with the mostest with glee. Especially because he’s now venturing into some truly fascinating side projects.

President Obama’s required reading list

President Obama's required reading

You may have encountered President Obama’s delightfully optimistic Wired editorial piece about Star Trek, progress, and the hope he has for future generations of America. What you may have missed, however, is the list of ten books he curated for the magazine that have made his essential reading list.

According to Wired, the entire list of books takes 89 hours to complete reading. That sounds like a lot. But considering who’s recommended the titles, you’re bound to be in for a truly life-changing 89 hours of learning.

The full list is as below:

1. The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln

President Obama's required reading

It’s understandable that Obama would want us to learn from one of America’s greatest orators. If you’re thinking of doing your own TED Talk, this looks like the best pick out of the list for you.

2. Parting the Waters: America in the King Years 1954-63, Taylor Branch

President Obama's required reading

A book covering the early years of revolutionary Martin Luther King Jr., this historical pick sounds like it would be particularly personal for the first black president of the United States of America.

3. The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York, Robert A. Caro

This is the definitive biography of Robert Moses, someone who was greatly influential to the development of New York City. He was considered America’s most famous city planner, so this sounds like one you won’t be able to put down.

4. The Fire Next Time, James Baldwin


According to Wired, this book is made up of two personal essays by the author, addressing racial tensions and inequalities in the early 1960s.

With the #BlackLivesMatter movement spreading across America, these essays are more relevant now than ever before.

5. Andy Grove: The Life and Times of an American, Richard S. Tedlow


Prepare your Kleenex, because this one’s about a Holocaust survivor who made it to America and helped forge the path for a company to greatness. The company? Oh, you may have heard of it – it’s Intel.

6. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, Yuval Noah Harari


Now this one probably requires your thickest reading glasses. Covering the evolution of man from our homo sapiens ancestors, this book looks to the past in order to predict the future of humankind. #deep

7. Thinking, Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman

71sib%2BAC oL

This novel about the science of decision-making has now been considered one of Obama’s favourites, according to Business Insider.

Kahneman, a Nobel prize-winning psychologist explores two modes of thinking in this book. Read this, and thou shalt know thyself a lil’ bit more.

8. The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History, Elizabeth Kolbert


Climate change exists, y’all. That’ what this book is trying to tell us, as Kolbert navigates her way through the human race’s impact on the environment. A particularly sobering read.

9. In Dubious Battle, John Steinbeck


If you studied Of Mice and Men in school, you’ve probably heard of our dude Steinbeck. This is another one of his novels exploring the fallacy of the American Dream.

10. Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity, Katherine Boo

This book is about the lives of a family living in a Mumbai slum. This pick shows how important it is for a global leader to have a global world-view. It doesn’t hurt that this book is apparently so wonderfully written, it almost convinces you it’s fiction.

Imagine this. The President of the United States kicking off his shoes at the end of a long day and curling up in bed, book in hand, with his dogs Sunny and Bo. What a dude.

President Obama's required reading

Feature Image В© Buzzfeed Motion Pictures

Download the Debut app and you could totally grab yourself a summer internship way before anyone else.

Follow Brenda on Twitter @brendaisarebel
Connect with Debut on Facebook and Twitter

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 5 / 5. Vote count: 178

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.


Get started

Take four minutes to set up your profile and have great grad jobs come to you.