Barack Obama—recently dubbed America’s most admired man, courtesy of an annual Gallup poll—has once again cemented his reputation as our most culturally astute (and certainly most culturally aware) president, sharing his annual list of his favorite literary, cinematic, and musical output from the year, and as we’ve come to expect from the former President, his taste is both wide-ranging and deep, au courant and classic in scope, with books and films that focus on the world’s increasingly divisive sociopolitical issues (Educated, The Broken Ladder, How Democracies Die, Why Liberalism Failed, Leave No Trace, Shoplifters, Burning, An American Marriage, The New Geography of Jobs) and the latest tomes from a rising class of literary lions (Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Lisa Halliday, Zadie Smith, Tommy Orange, Lauren Groff) as well as some offerings from recently departed purveyors of classics (Denis Johnson, V.S. Naipaul).
Movies like BlacKKKlansman and Black Panther, If Beale Street Could Talk, and Eighth Grade all make appearances, as does Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma, Chloe Zhao’s The Rider, and the beloved Mr. Rogers documentary, Won’t You Be My Neighbor. His musical tastes swing from Beyoncé and Jay-Z to Brandi Carlile and Bad Bunny. (If the former president becomes bored with writing his forthcoming book, grassroots organizing and his visits to sick children in local hospitals, we would welcome his contribution to the Vogue culture section, where we’re happy to report our tastes really quite neatly align.)
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