"Not since Lincoln has there been a president as fundamentally shaped — in his life, convictions and outlook on the world — by reading and writing as Barack Obama."
Oh, please. Talk about recency effects!
What about James Garfield ("the professor President" and one of the last Presidents fluent in Ancient Greek), Theodore Roosevelt (who wrote 20 books before becoming President, and then a score more afterwards), the odious but certainly bookish Woodrow Wilson ("the scholar-President"), and even, saints preserve us, Richard Nixon (about whom this anecdote is instructive) -- all of whom most certainly were more fundamentally shaped by "reading and writing," and who wrote many more books, than Mr. Obama.
This New York Times piece is sickening hagiography. Oh for the days when journalists despised and mistrusted politicians!