Yehuda Avner’s 2010 book “The Prime Ministers” reveals a tradition of voracious readers among Israel’s leaders, whose homes were lined with books in multiple languages. While those homes remind Tevi Troy of the residences of America’s founding fathers, Troy’s new book begins with President Barack Obama’s reference to the cast of the “Jersey Shore” reality TV show during the Congressional battle over health care.
Troy’s book brings to light various unique factoids about how U.S. presidents related to Jews, such as the fact that John Quincy Adams after his presidency began working on, but never completed, a written history of the Jewish people. Theodore Roosevelt, in a 1903 speech for B’nai B’rith, recalled that one of the colonels who fought with him at San Juan Hill was Jewish. Asked whether such a personal anecdote could appear in a modern presidential speech, Troy notes that while Roosevelt probably wrote his own speeches, presidential speechwriters have taken over that role today...more.
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