In a piece at National Review Online, Tevi Troy reveals what Republican leaders in the House are reading, and what this might mean. Troy concludes: "conservatives can take comfort from the fact that their new leaders are serious readers, and that when they do read, they are paying attention to what conservatives have to say."
Eric Cantor, who is poised to become the House majority leader, reads voraciously. At one point, one of his staffers, Neil Bradley, recommended that he read George Gilder’s The Israel Test. Cantor replied that he had read it six months earlier. Other recent Cantor reads include Joel Kotkin’s The Next Hundred Million: America in 2050, Claire Berlinski’s “There Is No Alternative”: Why Margaret Thatcher Matters, and Michael Lewis’s Moneyball — demonstrating that he does not limit himself to books about politics or books by conservatives. In addition to books, Cantor also regularly reads The Weekly Standard, National Review (and National Review Online), Forbes, Fortune, BusinessWeek, Time, and — for a change of pace — People.
Another big reader is Paul Ryan, likely chairman of the Budget Committee. He is one of the many House GOP fans of The Battle: How the Fight between Free Enterprise and Big Government Will Shape America’s Future, by AEI president Arthur Brooks. In fact, he teamed up with Brooks to debate the New York Times’s David Brooks on the op-ed pages of the Times and the Wall Street Journal in September. Arthur Brooks and Ryan argued for what Commentary’s Jennifer Rubin called a “course correction” to Obama’s economic model. David Brooks, in contrast, found the Brooks/Ryan approach too “Manichean.” While the outcome was inconclusive, it was AEI’s Brooks who found himself the preferred Brooks among House GOP leaders. When the Republican Study Committee hosted him at a private dinner, Rep. Michele Bachmann held up a copy of the book and insisted that each of her colleagues take a complimentary copy from the stash Brooks’s publisher had provided.
While Ryan and Cantor may be the best-known readers in the House GOP, they are far from the only ones. Tom Price, who will be the newPolicy Committee chairman, has recently read the Berlinski book on Thatcher; Dissed Trust: America’s Crisis of Truth, Faith, and Freedom, by William DeMersseman; and Write It When I’m Gone: Remarkable Off-the-Record Conversations with Gerald R. Ford, by Thomas DeFrank. Incoming GOP whip Kevin McCarthy, who is of a more political bent, noted in Young Guns that he takes Michael Barone’s Almanac of American Politics with him wherever he goes. Other books that have caught on with House Republicans over the last two years include The Forgotten Man, Amity Shlaes’s revisionist take on the Depression, and, perhaps somewhat surprisingly, Naftali Bendavid’s The Thumpin’: How Rahm Emanuel and the Democrats Learned to Be Ruthless and Ended the Republican Revolution, which provided insight into the Democratic congressional takeover of 2006.
Whole thing here.