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Bush thinking about '09?

Book on Roosevelt's post-presidency tops president's reading list

From Dana Bash
CNN Washington Bureau

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"When Trumpets Call," by Patricia O'Toole, tops President Bush's holiday reading list.

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CRAWFORD, Texas (CNN) -- Although he has three years left in office, President Bush is spending the holiday week at his ranch reading a book about Theodore Roosevelt's life after he left the White House.

The book, "When Trumpets Call," by Patricia O'Toole, examines the frustration Roosevelt felt and his inability to let go after leaving office in 1909, at age 50.

Bush is also reading "Imperial Grunts: The American Military on the Ground," by Robert Kaplan. The book is a firsthand account of the role of U.S. troops around the world, including in Iraq, engaged in what the author calls "American imperialism."

When asked why the president picked a book that includes some criticism of the American military role in Iraq, White House spokesman Trent Duffy said "The president is an avid reader. He reads books of all kinds and stripe and persuasion. And he decided to read it."

Should Americans take anything from the fact that Bush is already reading about a predecessor's post-White House years?

"The president is a history buff," Duffy said. "The president knows full well that he's got a lot of time left in this second term and he's going to accomplish big things, as he has talked about repeatedly."

Duffy said NBC anchor Brian Williams recommended the Teddy Roosevelt book to the president.

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