A Year in Reading: Hamilton Leithauser

December 5, 2014 | 2 books mentioned 3

covercoverRobert Moses and Robert Caro dominated the first four months of my year with The Power Broker. It’s a bear, but a must read for any New Yorker, or anyone with any interest in manipulation, corruption, sneakiness, and lying. I loved it. Caro is such a good writer…my brother in law is taking on the Lyndon Johnson series right now, but I might need to rest up for that one. New York City is an entirely different place for me now. Robert Moses had more influence over the entire tri-state region — and arguably the entire United States — than any other person in the 20th century. It’s incredible how he operated “legally” outside of the reach of any legal authorities. He could just basically write his own laws. Actually, sometimes he literally wrote his own laws. Check it out.

The Circle by Dave Eggers. I recently got social on the Internet as a means of promoting my musical act. Coincidentally, within a week of signing up for all this stuff I read The Circle, and now I can’t sign into Facebook or Twitter without feeling like I’ve joined the Circle. I laughed many times through this, but honestly, for a guy who really didn’t know what was going on online before, I was dumbfounded more than anything else. I immediately tweeted about The Circle when I finished it.

More from A Year in Reading 2014

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is a songwriter and musician living in New York City. His recent album with friend Rostam Batmanglij, I Had a Dream That You Were Mine, is out now on Glassnote Records.

3 comments:

  1. The power broker is my all-time favorite political read. Robert Moses is an astounding character. Yes, he was corrupt. But he accomplished things for the city that might never have been accomplished elsewise.

  2. At the end of each year, I look forward to Hamilton’s list of books. Ever since I decided to try his suggestion of “Lords of Finance” a few years ago on a whim (a book I would have never thought to pick up myself), I’ve come to discover that for whatever reason, we have compatible reading tastes. I’ve read most of what Hamilton has recommended and have enjoyed them all, so I’m stoked to add these to my queue for 2015!

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