What Does Obama Read?
Netlore Archive: Emailed photo shows Barack Obama carrying a copy of the book The Post-American World by Fareed Zakaria, described in the caption as 'the Muslim/Islamic view to destroy America.'
Description: Viral image
Circulating since: Oct. 2008
Status: Authentic photo / Misleading text
Email contributed by Robert, Oct. 12, 2008:
Thought you might like to see what Obama likes to read.
CHECK OUT THE PIC -- IT IS NOT A PHOTOSHOP PIC. SEND THIS ON OR PRINT IT AND HAND OUT COPIES TO YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY THAT DO NOT HAVE E-MAIL. LET AMERICIANS KNOW WHAT WE'LL GET IF WE VOTE FOR OBAMA.
Do YOU See what he's reading! Pass this on!
This certainly makes me question the whole candidate and what he says!
This SHOULD open your eyes. What IS IT THAT Obama does read?
Click to Enlarge
...is reading 'The Post-American World' -- IT IS THE MUSLIM/ISLAMIC VIEW TO DESTROY AMERICA FROM WITHIN.
(This is an anonymously edited version of a
New York Times photo by Doug Mills, circulating via email)
Obama is indeed carrying a copy of Fareed Zakaria's The Post-American World, published in May 2008 by W.W. Norton. Born in India in 1964, Zakaria is a naturalized American citizen residing in New York City. A former editor of Newsweek International and Foreign Affairs, he is a world-renowned expert on international relations. And he was born a Muslim, though he describes himself as "not a religious guy."
Analysis: The image is authentic, though it has been specially framed and captioned for viral distribution by person(s) unknown. The original photo by Doug Mills, which shows Barack Obama leaving his plane to attend a campaign event in Bozeman, Montana in May 2008, appeared twice on the New York Times website, first in an election-themed slideshow and again the next day in a blog posting by Dwight Garner discussing Obama's choice of reading material.
Contrary to what is stated in the email, The Post-American World is emphatically not a "Muslim/Islamic view to destroy America from within." Its thesis, rather, is that the power and influence of non-western countries are rising and will continue to rise on into the 21st century, presenting new "opportunities and challenges" to the United States. "That does not mean we are entering an anti-American world," Zakaria notes in his introduction. "But we are moving into a post-American world, one defined and directed from many places and by many people."
This is not a development Americans should fear, Zakaria said in a Washington Post interview just after the book was released, "but rather one to prepare for and compete in."
It's precisely the sort of book, in other words, that a serious contender for the U.S. presidency ought to be reading just now.
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Sources and further reading:
What Obama Is Reading
NY Times Paper Cuts blog, 21 May 2008
Excerpt: Zakaria's The Post-American World
Newsweek International, 12 May 2008
Books: The Post-American World
Washington Post, 12 May 2008
Village Voice, 9 August 2005
Fareed Zakaria Bio
Last updated: 10/18/08