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Books by and about 2020 presidential candidates
Crippled America,
by Donald J. Trump (2015)
by Cory Booker (2016)
The Truths We Hold,
by Kamala Harris (2019)
Smart on Crime,
by Kamala Harris (2010)
Guide to Political Revolution,
by Bernie Sanders (2017)
Where We Go From Here,
by Bernie Sanders (2018)
Promise Me, Dad ,
by Joe Biden (2017)
Conscience of a Conservative,
by Jeff Flake (2017)
Two Paths,
by Gov. John Kasich (2017)
Every Other Monday,
by Rep. John Kasich (2010)
Courage is Contagious,
by John Kasich (1998)
Shortest Way Home,
by Pete Buttigieg (2019)
The Book of Joe ,
by Jeff Wilser (2019; biography of Joe Biden)
by Michelle Obama (2018)
Our Revolution,
by Bernie Sanders (2016)
This Fight Is Our Fight,
by Elizabeth Warren (2017)
Higher Loyalty,
by James Comey (2018)
The Making of Donald Trump,
by David Cay Johnston (2017)
Books by and about the 2016 presidential election
What Happened ,
by Hillary Clinton (2017)
Higher Loyalty ,
by James Comey (2018)
Trump vs. Hillary On The Issues ,
by Jesse Gordon (2016)
Hard Choices,
by Hillary Clinton (2014)
Becoming ,
by Michelle Obama (2018)
Outsider in the White House,
by Bernie Sanders (2015)

Book Reviews

(from Amazon.com)

(click a book cover for a review or other books by or about the presidency from Amazon.com)

Obama and the Empire
by Cuban leader Fidel Castro

(Click for Amazon book review)

OnTheIssues.org BOOK REVIEW:

People ask when they see this book's author, "Is that THE Fidel Castro?" Yes, it is, which I know because I asked that same question when I saw the book on the bookstore shelf. It is written by Cuban President Fidel Castro, who "retired" in 2008 from the Cuban Presidency (he then retired again as Communist Party Secretary in 2011, after this book was published; his brother Raul Castro still runs the country, having taken over both those roles). Fidel's retirement was marked by an ongoing set of "Reflections" which he published in the Communist-party-run newspaper, Granma; those "Reflections" are collected in book form here.

Castro's "Reflections" are written immediately after each event they discuss. In other words, these essays are his immediate reaction, without any long-term perspective -- sort of like reading a political blog. But it's a political blog where the blogger describes the United States as "a parasitical and plundering empire" (p. 8) and says "NATO is a warlike and aggressive organization" (p. 47). And of course Castro applies decades of long-term perspective when he says things like that -- he has hated the United States and NATO longer than most political bloggers have been alive.

Castro wrote this book to "understand and evaluate the Obama presidency," according to the Publisher's Note (p. x). Castro certainly addresses Obama, but Castro's real target is George W. Bush, whom Castro evidently hates with unbridled passion. Castro describes Bush as "a corrupt, lying and ignorant politician" (p. 53) whose presidency Castro describes as "dark days" (p. 59).

For Obama, Castro has mixed feelings. Castro sincerely admires Obama's accomplishment of being the first non-white president, describing Obama's election as "an exceptional merit of US society and I am the first to admit it" (p. 21). Castro admires Obama on racial grounds -- "a black man in the country of racial discrimination" (p. 25) -- but also on political grounds -- "he certainly does not resemble his predecessor in the least" (p. 49). But Castro opens his book with an essay entitled, "The Cynicism of the Empire" (p. 1) in which he bashes Obama for maintaining the American embargo against Cuba. Castro follows up with accusing Obama of violation of international law by keeping the Guantanamo prison open (p. 18) and by "praising" Obama for achieving with ObamaCare what was achieved by Cuba 50 years ago (p. 121).

Most political bloggers feel like their opinions matter, and that their readers just can't wait for their next post. With most political bloggers, that would be megalomania if they actually believe it. Fidel Castro, whom many consider the world's leading megalomaniac, in fact DOES have readers who just can't wait for his next post, although most of them are forced to do so by living in the dictatorship that Castro set up. The book has that off-the-cuff feel that most political blogs have; like most blogs, it is not well-edited (for example, Castro cites Rep. James Clyburn as being from North Carolina (p. 39); in fact, he represents South Carolina).

I could not resist this book -- and neither should any other pundit, or anyone interested enough in politics to want to understand how our opponents view us. Castro's views of Obama are not like those of Obama's political enemy Rush Limbaugh; Castro is a REAL enemy, with REAL opposition views. Castro's negative views of America are, unfortunately, common throughout the Third World, and are not uncommon in the developed world either. Understanding Castro means understanding much of the world outside our borders.

-- Jesse Gordon, OnTheIssues editor-in-chief, December 2013

 OnTheIssues.org excerpts:  (click on issues for details)
Budget & Economy
    Barack Obama: G-20 produced "collective document" on global economy.
    Barack Obama: OpEd: More Mexicans killed in Drug War than soldiers in Iraq.
Energy & Oil
    Barack Obama: History will pass judgment on our response to climate change.
    Barack Obama: OpEd: Understands that US is biggest source of emissions.
Foreign Policy
    Barack Obama: Cuba should reduce surcharge on remittances from US.
    Dwight Eisenhower: OpEd: Organized Bay of Pigs invasion that JFK carried out.
    John F. Kennedy: OpEd: Bay of Pigs invasion showed he was young and untried.
    Richard Nixon: OpEd: Organized Bay of Pigs invasion that JFK carried out.
    George W. Bush: Supports Ukraine and Georgia joining NATO.
    Barbara Lee: Led delegation to Cuba and met with Fidel Castro.
    Bennie Thompson: 2000: Joined CBC Congressional delegation to Cuba.
    Bobby Rush: Part of delegation to Cuba that met with Fidel Castro.
    Emmanuel Cleaver: Part of delegation to Cuba that met with Fidel Castro.
    Gregory Meeks: 2000: Joined CBC Congressional delegation to Cuba.
    James Clyburn: 2000: Led CBC Congressional delegation to Cuba.
    Laura Richardson: Part of delegation to Cuba that met with Fidel Castro.
    Marcia Fudge: Part of delegation to Cuba that met with Fidel Castro.
    Maxine Waters: 1999: Led first Congressional delegation to Cuba.
    Mel Watt: Part of delegation to Cuba that met with Fidel Castro.
    Mike Honda: Part of delegation to Cuba that met with Fidel Castro.
    Richard Lugar: Initiate direct talks with Cuba's communist government.
    Rahm Emanuel: The less said on Cuba, the better.
    Barack Obama: OpEd: Maintaining Guantanamo base violates international law.
    Hillary Clinton: Committed to maintaining economic embargo against Cuba.
    Barack Obama: Maintain Cuban embargo, but allow Americans to send money.
Free Trade
    Richard Nixon: Initiated the dollar as basis of world trade.
Health Care
    Barack Obama: OpEd: ObamaCare was achieved by Cuba 50 years ago.
Homeland Security
    George W. Bush: Prompt Global Strike: reach anywhere in under an hour.
    Barack Obama: Doors of NATO are open (but that threatens Russia).
War & Peace
    Jimmy Carter: OpEd: One of few presidents who would not kill adversaries.
    Barack Obama: America is not--and never will be--at war with Islam.
    Barack Obama: Unlike Afghanistan, Iraq was a war of choice.
    John F. Kennedy: OpEd: Vietnam war restored the French colonial empire.
    Lyndon Johnson: Vietnam war cost $500B and 50,000 US lives.
    Barack Obama: OpEd: Overreaction to North Korean rockets.
    George W. Bush: OpEd: Iraq was a war of conquest, in search of oil.
    John McCain: OpEd: As war pilot, no remorse for dropping bombs on Hanoi.

The above quotations are from Obama and the Empire
by Cuban leader Fidel Castro.

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by Jesse Gordon and OnTheIssues.org
Reprinting by permission only.

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