Leaders as Readers

Macgregor Duncan and I have a piece out today in the Australian Literary Review, looking at what Australian politicians should and do read. Full text here, and results from our survey of federal politicians here. We had a lot of fun writing the piece (which ranges afield from my usual economics research), so I hope you’ll enjoy it.

We didn’t do as much as one could with the full dataset of pollies’ responses, so part of the reason for posting all our survey responses is the hope that others might analyse them a little further.

Update: John Birmingham reckons some of our pollies might have been stretching the truth a little.

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4 Responses to Leaders as Readers

  1. conrad says:

    I hope they could choose the bible as fiction as well as just non-fiction [sic].

  2. Nick says:

    Nice article Andrew (and Macgregor).

    There is of course the issue of politicians giving the answers that they want people to see, rather than what they have actually read/are reading (I suggest Bill Heffernan’s response falls into that category as well). However, that is interesting in itself.

    I the interests of full disclosure, what would have your four responses been?

    • Andrew Leigh says:

      Current: Dalton Conley’s Elsewhere USA and Alison Booth’s Stillwater Creek.
      Favourite: Whatever Malcolm Gladwell has written most recently (don’t always agree with his conclusions, but I’m a sucker for beautiful writing) and Tim Winton’s The Turning.

  3. R says:

    There is a mistake in the survey – Dennis Jensen’s most recent nonfic is ‘Blue Planet in Green Chains’, listed as authored by Vaclav Havel. The author is actually Vaclav Klaus, a rather different politician.

    Not sure if that is your error or Jensen’s.

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