The Atlantic

Why Foreign Leaders Read Trump's 1990 Playboy Interview

In preparation for their White House visits, both Japanese and German officials studied the infamous feature for clues into the president’s thinking on world affairs.
Source: Joshua Roberts / Reuters

To understand the thinking of American presidents, historians, contemporaries, and political rivals, have often sought out the texts that most influenced them. George Washington, for example, was known to love Cato: A Tragedy, Joseph Addison’s civics-heavy play about the man who tried and failed to block Caesar’s path to tyranny. He loved the play so much that he forced demoralized troops at Valley Forge to view a staging of it. Calvin Coolidge was apparently so enamored of Cicero that he nearly became fluent in Latin after regularly reading him. Herbert Hoover, who grew up poor and became insanely wealthy, was, unsurprisingly, a big fan of Dickens’ David Copperfield.

For President

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